Hankel: Mono’s first female judge?
Mono County has never had a female judge, but that could change if Attorney Therese Hankel is successful in her bid for the bench. Hankel recently announced she’s running against Mark Magit from the County Counsel’s office and Public Defender Randy Gephart for the seat that will open up when Judge Ed Forstezner retires next month.
Hankel, a well-known local litigator, has been in Mammoth for 20 years. She currently runs her own practice, covering cases involving Civil Litigation, Real Estate law (including Condominium Homeowners Association cases), Criminal Defense, DUI, Family Law, Personal Injury and even Trademarks, among others.
Hankel gave The Sheet some background and observations about the law and being on the bench.
“Ever since I went to law school, I’ve sort of been on what they call ‘judge track.’ I’ve wanted to be a judge since that time. It was always in the back of mind. I believe in the process. I believe in making things fair.
“I don’t think that merely because I’m a woman means you should vote for me. Each of the candidates are diverse lawyers with differing, varied experiences.
“It’s a non-partisan office. Your personal beliefs can’t come into play there. You don’t get to make new law as trial judge, either. You’re accountable to the people you serve. If you view the law through the prism of partisan politics, you’re really not doing your job.
“I’ve been a full practitioner, worked in small firms, large firms … litigated environmental cases to day-to-day legal facilitating.
“There are some things I’d like to see, reducing costs in terms of filing fees and other court-related expenses, as well as some better use of funding opportunities that could save money.”
Sharon Clark to run for Council
Current Mammoth Lakes Planning Commissioner Sharon Clark pulled papers Tuesday for a possible seat on Town Council. From her press release:
“After years of trying to become a unified community with common objectives, we still have not reached our goals. We came together with our 2007 General Plan Update but have lost our way and are tangled up in dysfunction, floundering District Plans, a loss of vision and direction, code shenanigans and Specific Plans that don’t meet the General Plan Update consensus. Citizens feel manipulated and disenfranchised.
My experience and background are: an elected official for 22 years and a small business owner in Indiana, and an elementary school teacher after earning my Master’s Degree in Connecticut. Serving as one of your Planning Commissioners for the past year I’ve become increasingly passionate about seeing our town prosper and grow with quality development, while maintaining our small town character of a village in the trees.
As a candidate for Town Council, I ask for your vote on June 8 so that I may: 1) help our Town Council become the executive policy maker it is meant to be 2) save tax dollars by insisting that our town run efficiently 3) foster community consensus with communication, cooperation, and collaboration, and 4) promote a transparent government process encouraging citizen participation.”
Clark’s candidacy brings to 8 the number of persons who have pulled papers for Council seats, though as of press time not all of them had completed the full application process.
Allen Blumer enters Council race
Mammoth local Allen Blumer, a vocal presence during public comment at Town Council and other public meetings, also announced thsi week he’s running for a seat on Council. Following is an excerpt from his formal press statement:
“Enhancing Our Community and Preserving Our Heritage” is the platform I will be extolling as I run for Town of Mammoth Lakes Council. I am not against further development here in TOML, but I believe it needs to be done with an eye and an ear for preserving the “Village in the Trees” attitude. Untenanted residences and business buildings should be refurbished and/or remodeled before we charge forward with more construction.
Density and height should be MAJOR considerations in any further construction proposals. I think Council and the Planning Commission should be more careful in what is allowed concerning design and structure/color. The last thing we need is any more “tract housing” that distracts from the surrounding environment.
I am currently pursuing a grant to create a “Sierra WildLife Sanctuary.” We have already received some outstanding positive publicity via Steve Searles and “Bear Whisperer” on Animal Planet. We should capitalize on that and move forward with creating opportunities to view animals in a safe environment.[I support] attempts to open the Mammoth motocross track more often during the summer and [hold] professional snowmobile racing events there.
I would promote getting the Ice Rink covered, so we can have skating and other activities — Curling anyone?!?! — and professional ice shows. We also need to build [an] amphitheater so we can bring in BIG name acts.