The phone rings at Sheet headquarters on Thursday morning. Deadline morning. A voice on the other end asks for Andy Geisel.
A few minutes later, Andy hangs up. I ask him what it was about. The call had been from Town Council candidate Allen Blumer. He was locked inside The Tap.
Apparently, the night before, Allen told Andy he had decided to take a catnap on the stage and when the bartender closed, he or she forgot to check for any extra bodies lying around before locking up.
When Blumer woke up this morning, he discovered he was locked in and called THE NEWSPAPER in the hopes we could locate someone with a key to let him out.
Blumer did report to Geisel that because he’s running for office and wants to keep his Council bid unsullied, he had not helped himself behind the bar.
He did, however, admit to shooting a few free games of pool.
“I’ve done time in worse places I haven’t been able to get out of,” said Blumer. “This is easy, hard time.”
Draft budget released
The 2010-2011 Town of Mammoth Lakes draft budget has been released and is available for review on the Town’s website.
2009-2010 budgeted expenditures were approx. $16.3 million. Revenues for this budget year are projected at $17.5 million.
The proposed 2010-2011 budget calls for $17.8 million in expenditures.
Of the $1.5 million in increased expenditures over last year’s budget, about half is related to employee salary increases as a result of ending the two-day-a-month furlough program.
General fund revenues are projected at approx. $17.23 million. The Town is also expected to receive a one-time payment of $577,000, the return of a deposit the Town had to make when it issued bonds back in 2003.
For clarification on the existing Utility User Tax (UUT), which is to sunset in June, 2011, the actual monetary windfall the Town can expect to receive over the next year is approx. $945,000, broken down as follows.
Return of deposit: $577,000
FY 2009-2010 UUT revenue, according to Finance Director Brad Koehn, is projected to be $884,000. Debt service on the bond for this year is $844,000. This year’s overage: $40,000.
Next year, revenue is projected at $917,000 and debt service at $589,000 for an overage of $328,000.
The overage next year ($328,000) is designated for Parks, Recreation and Trails.
Staff proposes the $577,000 windfall be divided between the REU (Reserve for Economic Uncertainty) and the Community Development Dept., “to complete the work program that will prepare Mammoth to be ready for new development reinvestment. The work program includes the Zoning Code update, District Planning, the Mobility Plan and other vital planning efforts.”
Smells like a busy-work employment program, eh?
One item I found particularly intriguing was on road rehabilitation. The Staff report reads, “The road network in Mammoth Lakes has a current Pavement Condition Index (PCI) rating of 73. A rating of 73 is within the 70-100 PCI range and is considered to be in ‘good’ condition.”
In 2007, the PCI rating was 76.
The report says, “the optimum level of investment is probably in the $1.0 to $1.5 million range [annually]. This would represent a network PCI of about 75 and a fairly level deferred maintenance rate.”
The funding over the past three years: 2007-2008: $629,511
Budgeted funding for 2010-2011: $750,000.
Council won’t start discussing the budget until its next meeting on June 16, where current Councilmembers and members-elect will hash through it. Two other special budget workshops may be held on June 23 and June 30 according to Finance Director Brad Koehn. As the June 8 election results will not be certified until July 6, the sitting Council will pass a working budget by June 30, subject to revision by the new Council.
County Clerk Lynda Roberts explained that it will take longer than usual to certify the election because the ballot is chock full of special measures.
As Roberts explained, counties are obligated by law to hand-count one percent of its total precincts. In the case of Mono County, that amounts to one precinct. HOWEVER, if the precinct chosen does not cover all the races on the ballot, the Clerk then has to hand-count another precinct which does include that race.
It gets complicated.
And from Geisel’s desk …
Mammoth Brewing posted recently that its January through May numbers are in and things are decidedly up. “We’re up more than 15% in YTD over last year in overall beer sales, and very close to maximum capacity. Sorry, no more expanding of distribution area until we get into that new facility. One other stat: we’ve sold THREE TIMES as many Bluesapalooza tickets as same time last year, and there will be 10% LESS TICKETS SOLD this year than last year. BLUESAPALOOZA WILL SELL OUT! Buy your tickets early!” You can drop by the tasting room at 94 Berner Street and get them without any online fees or log on to www.mammothbluesbrewsfest.com. With Los Lonely Boys and Dave Mason on the bill, if I were you, I’d heed Turner’s advice.
And more Sheet kudos to Mike McKenna, who won First Place in both the Phil Ford Humor and Web-only categories at the recent Outdoor Writer’s Association of California annual awards ceremony for his Eastside Magazine story, “Fishing Rock Creek With Your Mother-In-Law.”
Mac goes on to quip, “Now I’ll really never hear the end of it from my trash talking mother-in-law!” McKenna, as many avid Sheet readers know, is a multiple OWAC award winner.
And the Mammoth Unified School District announced Wednesday its members have selected a single finalist for a new District Superintendent. Rich Boccia, currently Principal at Blair High School in Pasadena was chosen from a field of 7 candidates. Boccia has 30 years of experience as principal of high, middle and elementary schools, and District Director.
He was key in passing an improvement bond measure for the Blair school complex. As a result, Blair Middle School was awarded a National Blue Ribbon and, as was Mammoth Middle, also certified as a California Distinguished School.
“Mr. Boccia is passionate about improving student achievement, involving all members of the community and ‘raising the bar’ for all who serve in public education to create educational excellence,” said Board members in a press release. Pending ratification of his contract, Boccia will start on July 1. Parents and the community can meet Boccia at this coming Thursday’s special Board meeting on June 10, with a reception to follow.