Planning Commish plans a scaleback


The Mammoth Lakes Planning Commission on Wednesday scaled itself back.
With not much to plan by way of new projects, either public or private, the commission decided twice-a-month meetings were a waste of staff time and resources.
Rather than meeting twice a month, the commission will meet just once a month. If an “extraordinary” issue surfaces, the commission could call for a special meeting, much as the Town Council does.
The move by the Planning Commission follows that of the Mobility Commission, which scaled back its meetings to quarterly.
Both moves come on the heels of Town Councilman Skip Harvey’s consistent pleas for streamlining town government, particularly now, with a staff that over the past two years has been cut.
At each of these meetings, someone from the town staff is designated as a primary resource. For example, Public Works Director Ray Jarvis, who also has a lot to do, takes time to sit in as a primary resource for the Recreation Commission, the Planning Commission, the Mobility Commission and the Town Council. It’s a bit of a wonder that he has time for anything other than attending meetings.
In addition, each commission meeting requires a staff member to prepare, review and distribute minutes of what happened. Lately, not much is happening, particularly for the Planning Commission.
The Planning Commission’s last major piece of legislation was in updating the zoning ordinances in Mammoth Lakes, as well as in updating the town’s sign ordinance, such as it was. 
One top-of-the order commission, the Recreation Commission, soldiers on, but it has plenty to do. It is the commission that oversees the distribution of Measure R funding—a tall order—and it will oversee the distribution of Measure U funds.
Both funding mechanisms are taxpayer mandated—the result of elections. They are thorny processes, and the commission is attempting to make judgments as to who gets what and when. The primary source for the commission is Recreation Director Stuart Brown, whose skeleton staff now has about 40 programs, from gymnastics, softball, swimming, youth soccer and so on.