Recap of Accomplishments
Perusing the Mammoth Lakes Town Council agenda prior to Wednesday’s meeting, I was struck by item #3, which was listed as “Recap of Accomplishments – Wendy Sugimura.”
Channeling our outgoing Mayor as best I could, I tried to imagine how I would compile (if I were Wendy) my own list of Wendy’s Wonders.
Dear Staff, Fellow Members of Council … and, oh yeah, almost forgot, members of the public:
Change is hard. Change is really, really hard. But you can’t make change unless someone gives you a dollar, which is why it’s been so hard to change anything about the Community Development Department.
I want assure everyone that although Alexander Haig may not have been in charge last year, someone was, and that was was me. I was the woodchuck chucking wood, and believe me, we chucked a lot of wood, Rick Wood notwithstanding. Under my direction, Staff created a robust data set, and speaking as someone scientifically trained, let me tell you, if you don’t have a data set, you’re just an analog television living in a digital world.
The accumulation of this robust data set was particularly crucial in helping us establish a whole new way we look at our budget. Before, we just guessed at all the things we wouldn’t accomplish, and although [Finance Director] Brad’s a really good guesser, we just couldn’t guess any longer. I mean, seriously, Guess has been out of fashion for decades.
Under our new paradime shift, and I purposely spell paradime like this to illustrate to you how fiscally responsible I am, we write it all down on a workplan and use a lot of acronyms (FTEE) and decimal points. It’s all very official.
Anyway, without further ado, let me bulletpoint some of Council’s accomplishments during the past year. Under my leadership:
*Scores of residents moved out of town, making Mammoth less congested and more “livable” for those of us who remain.
*Like Obama, I created economic stimulus by presiding over lengthy meetings which earned several staff members significant overtime pay.
*Committed to making Mammoth a “great place to live and work,” we created a staff furlough program which allowed employees extra free time to fully enjoy their high salaries.
*Completed many planning studies which will remain relevant for eons, or at least through next year.
*Adopted a catchy slogan: Move Mammoth Forward.
*Created a committee to define the parameters of what the catchy slogan actually means.
*After eight meetings, the committee came back with the determination that Mammoth is indeed moving forward … because the steering wheel is busted and we can’t move in any other direction. Thanked and then disbanded the committee.
*Created a new budget process to ensure staff remains busy until the economy picks up.
*Became more sensitive to the needs and realities of our constituents. I read Mike McKenna’s piece in The Sheet about how his wife seemingly lost a few brain cells after she had her first child. Vehemently disagreeing with this assessment, I ordered the Chief of Police to place McKenna under surveillance. I soon learned that there are actually people in town who work three jobs. This was a key realization, as it helped me “connect” with the people.
*Upheld the firing of Steve Searles, but then craftily took credit for his rehire.
*Screwed up the budget only half as bad as we did the year before.
*Leveraged money we don’t have to build wish-list projects we could live without.
*Developed PAOT (Persons at One Time) calculation to aid Public Works with the age-old light bulb dilemma.
*Heeded Fire Chief Harper’s advice by creating “defensiveness space” all around me.
*Happened to be in office when Measure R passed and am certain my leadership had something to do with its passage.
*Promoted the democratic process in local government to such a degree that the reverberations led to the democratic uprising in Iran.