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What we really need is less town government

October 12, 2012

 

As a business owner and resident of Mammoth Lakes, I am angry—angry that once again the Town of Mammoth Lakes appears to be taking out its shortcomings on its residents and police.  

All we heard about last time there was a budget shortfall was what would be “fair.” Apparently fair was cutting 10 percent from every department.

Forget for a moment that fair should never have been a consideration.  You know what would be fair? Making the over-staffed entity responsible for the current financial mess take the cuts.

Instead, we’ve been told that we need to close Whitmore pool and cut more police.

While there may be merit in discussing whether our money is better served subsidizing Mono County Sheriff’s Department rather than funding our own police department, nobody at the town has the balls to bring that up.

They’ve taken the coward’s approach by talking about breaking contracts and reducing staffing of “over paid” police officers, effectively cutting the police department without ever having to suggest such a thing.

The only apparent solutions seem to be taxing ourselves, taxing our visitors, or raiding special funds in the “measures.”

By all indications from previous studies, our town and its tourists are already over taxed and over encumbered by fees.  

What we really need is less town government. In 1984, residents put their trust in local government and voted to incorporate the town of Mammoth Lakes.

They did this to keep more money in town and better serve our needs.  

In light of ongoing breeches of trust, the $48.5 million that will not be staying here over the next 23 years, proposed cuts in service, and all but cutting the police department, perhaps it’s time residents make the cuts to a runaway town government by considering disincorporation.

Clayton Mendel

Mammoth Lakes

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