Local candidates and school bond measure head to polls June 7

Wendilyn Grasseschi
Times Reporter

Today is the Presidential Primary Election Day, June 7, and although some media outlets have called the race between Senator Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton in Clinton's favor due to promised delegate math, the fate of seven local candidates in contested races and a ballot measure to renew a Mammoth school parcel tax bond is nowhere near settled this morning.

In other words, get out there an vote!

It's been a long, winding road to the local election today, including ballot misprints, errors in getting out voting information, and more; here is what you need to know to vote today:

Despite a last-minute printing mistake on the main ballots that indicated there were three open Mammoth Lakes Town Council seats – there are only two – the election is on schedule, although voters will need to return, or vote on, two different ballots this year (see below for details).

Also critical to remember is that all Mammoth Lakes precinct voters – all of them – now vote in the same place on June 7, at the Mammoth Unified School District High School Library. This is a change from previous elections, where voters scattered across the town to vote according to precinct locations.

In Mammoth, four candidates are vying for two open seats on the Mammoth Lakes Town Council: Bill Sauser, Cleland Hoff, Jennifer Burrows and Brent Truax.

However, due to a bumble during the candidate filing process, Brent Truax is running as a write-in candidate, and as such, his name will not actually be on the ballot. Voters who want Truax as one of their choices must fill in his name for the Town Council race on the new Town Council-only ballot.

The timing of the council race, in which the seats of current Councilmembers Jo Bacon and Michael Raimundo are up for grabs, was in question momentarily after Mono County officials discovered they had printed a ballot indicating the wrong number of seats were available.

Last minute scrambling, a consultation with the Secretary of State and Town and County attorneys and a rush job to the printer solved the problem. All Mammoth voters should now have two ballots; their original ballot with state and local races on it, and a brand new Town Council-only ballot, which indicates the correct number of seats – two – are to be voted on.

Also contested is the Mono County Board of Supervisor seat for District 4. The district includes the communities of Walker, Coleville, Bridgeport, the Antelope Valley, the Virginia Lakes area, Bodie and more areas of northern Mono County, as well as a chunk of Mammoth.

Three men are vying for the District 4 seat, which is now held by incumbent Tim Fesko, who, from most accounts, seems to be in a tight race against at least one of his two contenders, John Peters and Bob Tems.

The three men face off on Tuesday, but should any one of them fail to get a simple majority, a runoff election could still be ahead in November.

Also on the ballot but with no contenders is the District 3 supervisor seat, held by retiring incumbent Tim Alpers. Bob Gardner is the only name on the ballot for that race. Gardner represents a part of Mammoth as well as the June Lake, Lee Vining and Mono Basin area.

Mono County District 2 Supervisor Fred Stump’s seat is also up for another four-year term. Stump has decided to run again but has no contenders for his seat. Stump’s district is focused in southern Mono County and includes Crowley Lake, Paradise, Toms Place, the Tri-Valley area along State Route 6, and more, but does not include any of Mammoth – the only county supervisor seat that does not represent any Mammoth residents.

Also on the ballot is local Measure G, a school bond measure which would renew a parcel tax that Mammoth Lakes residents within the school district's borders pay. The tax, $59 annually per parcel, has been called Measure S in the past, and it has been in place for many years. So far, it has been renewed during each election. The bond measure does require a two-thirds vote to pass. The money goes toward math and science and other class expansions, as well as books and school supplies.

Here's the details on voting for the Mammoth Lakes Town Council with the new ballot you should now have:

There is an error on your ballot: this error appears on sample ballots, vote-by-mail ballots, and the ballots you will see at your polling place. Because of this error, you will need to fill out two ballots—the original primary election ballot (shown in your sample ballot), plus an additional ballot to vote for the two open seats on the Mammoth Lakes Town Council.

Which vote-by-mail/absentee ballot do I use? You must return 2 ballots—your original ballot, for all offices and measures other than Town Council, and your replacement ballot for the Town Council election. You have already received your June 7 primary ballot—use this ballot to vote for everything except Town Council (votes for Town Council on this ballot will not be counted). Your replacement ballot for Town Council only will arrive the week of May 31, and this ballot will only include Town Council election options.

How do I return my vote-by-mail/absentee ballots? You can return your ballots in one of these three ways:

1) Mail both ballots by Tuesday, June 7. Postage is prepaid for the replacement ballot.
2) Return your ballots in person to the Mono County Community Development Department on the second floor of the Minaret Village Mall (above Giovanni’s), during business hours, Tuesday, 5/31 through Monday, 6/6.
3) Return your ballots in person at the Mammoth Lakes polling place (details below).
You must use the return envelope that was sent with each ballot, no matter which way you choose to return your ballots.

In Person/Polling Place:
Follow the usual procedure at the polling place on Tuesday, June 7, and note that all Mammoth voters have a new polling place (details below).
You will receive two ballots. Use the original June 7 Primary Election ballot to vote for all offices and measures other than Town Council. Use the replacement ballot to vote for the two open Town Council seats—only vote for two candidates here.

Mammoth Lakes Polling Place/Voting Location Change

ALL Mammoth Lakes voters have a new polling place: Mammoth High School Library, 365 Sierra Park Road, 7 a.m. - 8 p.m.