Town Council discusses its strategic priorites for the coming year
Last week, we tortured you with coverage of the first half of a Mammoth Town Council strategy session. Below, Gorman covers Council’s discussion about housing, capital infrastructure and municipal services. The strategy session covered Council’s vision and goals for the next 18 months.
For the community housing discussion, consultant Michael Ward laid out a list of action items as follows:
a. Initial Planning for ‘The Parcel’ to be completed and ready to proceed to development and funding
b. Short-term implementation of defined action items from CHAP (Community Housing Action Plan) completed
c. Partner with Chamber, MLH (Mammoth Lakes Housing) and others to implement short-term housing opportunities (Goal is to house 50 employees)
d. Implement additional funding for housing programs/projects (i.e. Increase in-lieu fee; reinstate inclusionary housing policy; pursue dedicated tax measure)
Item d was the stated number one priority for Hoff, Wentworth, Salcido, and Stapp.
Sauser chose item c as his number one because, “the others don’t add anything in the next 18 months,” he said. “Even if it’s a half dozen units, I want to see increased capacity in 18 months.”
Sauser mentioned the fact that the Town has spent about $9 million dollars on the parcel and other expenditures and has seen zero additional units as a result. At that price the town could have purchased about 90 condos at market rate.
The list of infrastructure action items was as follows:
a. Invest in pavement rehabilitation, replacement, and expansion (roads, multi-use pathways, sidewalks and parks)
b. Implement the Airport Capital Improvement Program (ACIP) with near term projects under construction (Airport Ramp, Safety Elements, and pavement improvements)
c. Focused (whatever that means)implementation of capital projects that support facilities to advance approved plans (Walk-Bike-Ride, Downtown Revitalization, Housing Action Plan, Mobility Element, General Plan, etc.)
Councilmembers came to a consensus that items a and c are simply core services of the town, and shouldn’t be included on this action item list. Core services are essentially mandated, and therefore don’t need to be prioritized.
Since the others are core services, the Councilmembers agreed that b could be the only top priority.
A victory for High School Geometry!
a. Development and approval of integrated Solid Waste Program and Services to be implemented through new franchise agreement, services agreements and innovation
b. Enhanced operational and long-term financial stability (reserves, revenue and expenditure management) achieved with retained bond ratings
c. Plan for new Public Safety Communications system is refined and funding options presented d. Increased level and diversity of police services (24/7 coverage, narcotics team, additional patrol)
Most of the councilmembers felt that item b, financial stability, was too broad and belonged in the list of core services.
Wentworth said that his number one priority was solid waste. “We’ll get bit bad if we don’t take care of that,” he said of the impending Benton landfill closure. Soon Mammoth Lakes will have to ship its waste to Nevada.
Salcido said that c, a new safety communications service was her top priority.
Hoff and Sauser agreed that police services was the top priority, but disagreed over which aspect of police services. Hoff said that 24/7 service is her priority. Sauser said that, ”for good or for bad, I know this town, and I think a narcotics team is the number one priority.”
Hoff joked, “Of course the biggest guy in the room doesn’t worry about 24/7 services. Nobody is gonna knock down your door.”
Chief of Police Al Davis said that 24/7 services is his top priority. He added that with current staffing the police department could have an officer on duty 24/7, it just needs to adjust its scheduling policy.