Mono Supes seek to bag peak for Lawrence
When former Olympian and environmental activist Andrea Mead Lawrence passed away last spring, plaudits and accolades poured in not only from all corners of the Eastern Sierra but from all over the world.
Almost a year later, her family broached the subject of a lasting memorial to Lawrence during the Mono County Board of Supervisors’ Feb. 2 meeting. Lawrence had, after all, served 16 years as a Mono County Supervisor.
After much consideration of attaching her name to various buildings and parks, the family decided to ask the Board for a letter supporting an honor that would be as big as all outdoors: formally naming a peak — #12,223, located just inside Mono County near Tuolomne — in her honor. Andrea’s son, Corty Lawrence, and daughter, Quentin, said the peak would be appropriate given Andrea’s considerable accomplishments, and suggested naming it Mt. Andrea or Mt. Andrea Lawrence.
Senator Barbara Boxer reportedly said she thinks the peak and its namesake are a good match, and getting behind the tribute is a no-brainer, particularly in an election year. Not taking any chances, Bauer plans to talk with both Congressman Buck McKeon and Boxer, as well as Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), in hopes of reprising the bipartisan relationship that led to successful passage of the Omnibus Public Lands Act legislation last year. If all goes well, Bauer said she hopes to cut considerable time off the 5-10 years it takes to get a request before the naming approval committee.
Hazard’s only issue in the Feb. 2 preliminary discussion concerned language in the original staff report, which could have been construed that the Board was honoring Lawrence largely for her work as a Mono County supervisor. That, he indicated, should never be the sole reason to have such an honor bestowed on a former supervisor.
Supervisor Tom Farnetti agreed, adding that Lawrence distinguished herself nationally, as well as locally. Bauer pointed out, however, that the Board is only able to recommend renaming the peak in her honor. Ultimately, she said, the decision is a federal one.
The Board voted unanimously to approve authorization of the letter.
Radio Network Provider RFP
Last summer, Mono County Supervisors approved a one-year contract with Nielsen Communications to continue providing support for the County’s law enforcement radio system.
With the current contract expiring on June 30, and the retirement of John Nielsen expected sometime during the next few years, the Board decided to keep the deal more short term last year, with most voting against a five-year duration. (Late Board Chair Bill Reid was the dissenting vote at the time.)
Also during that June 2009 meeting, the Board directed Clay Neely to return as soon as possible with a draft proposal solicitation, opening the field to potential qualifying vendors, both in-house and from the public, wishing to throw their name in the ring.
Bids from Reno will be considered, though Neely said that local proximity of the provider would be a factor, in that service response time could be critical and a closer vendor will obviously be able to address problems more quickly.
The County’s current network, including 43 mountaintop repeaters and 10 remote transmission sites, has been in operation for several years and some pieces of gear are starting to show their age. One major component, the main dispatch console, will need to be replaced within the next 4 years or so to the tune of $400,000, a cost which the County has apparently already anticipated.
The Board voted to proceed, allowing all parties what is hoped to be enough time to have select a new provider and have a contract done by the end of June.