Peters, Fesko, air their differences at Mammoth candidate forum

Maybe it was the vice presidential debate. Maybe it was that snow was falling for the first time in six months in Mammoth.

Whatever it was, Thursday night’s school board and county supervisor candidate’s forum was sparsely attended, even as the candidates themselves threw their considerable energy into it.

At the table sat Mono County District 4 Supervisor candidates Tim Fesko and Bob Peters, who have been locked in a runoff fight since June, and an election fight since almost the beginning of the year.

(Later, Mammoth Unified School District candidates Shana Stapp and John Stavlo took the hot seat, with a third candidate, Luis Villanueva, absent due to a prior commitment.)

There are two seats open on the school board, with current school board—Stavlo’s seat, which he was appointed to after Dr. Andrew Bourne resigned early this year—and the seat held by Greg Newbry, who is not running again.

(MUSD forum highlights will run later this week.)

The forum was moderated by the Mammoth Lakes Chamber of Commerce. Here is a general summary of the District 4 candidates forum.

Summed up, Tim Fesko says he’s running as a man of action, the common man who knows how to buck government lethargy and bureaucracy with common-sense solutions.

If the staff comes to the county supervisors with a boiler that needs replacing, as a general contractor, he knows if they might get a less expensive one somewhere else. He has worked with software programs, he is a self-employed businessman with successful businesses, he knows how to make things work at the nitty-gritty level—and that’s what sets him apart from his rival, Peters, he says.

He thinks this hands-on experience in many different areas will bring a diversity to a county board.

“The more diverse a group, the better decisions they can make on a large variety of issues,” he said.

He is also running because, after a lot of time criticizing the county supervisors, he decided it was time to do something.

“I kept hearing people say if you are going to make comments, why don’t you step up,” he said.

Bob Peters is running on what he considers his strengths, from a background more than a little different than Fesko’s.

Although both men are successful businessman, Peters comes from a background as an educational and training filmmaker, a CEO in the film industry, and a former county supervisor for District 4 (after a short appointment to the seat to fill Bill Reid’s seat when Reid died).

Because of this and due to the many years of service on Mono County boards and commissions, voters do not have to guess what he will do, they just need to look at his record, he said.

“I’m not here to tell you about my vision for your future, you can read that stuff in every candidate’s ad… those are hollow promises without the experience and knowledge to back them up… and I have already proved I can be effective,” he said.

The two men diverged on airport subsides—Fesko no, Peters yes—on the role of the supervisors, and more, though both said their primary job is to energize a vibrant and sustainable county economy.

For details on both men’s take on airport subsides, county/town relationships, the role of the supervisors, and more, you can watch the full forum at: The full content of the forum can be seen at www., by going to “Residents” then “Agendas and Minutes” then “Candidates Forum” or, on Channel 52 television.

Note: An earlier version of this story states that Fesko is a first time candidate for supervisor. That is  not correct. He ran and lost in 2010 against Tim Hansen, the current District 4 supervisor.