Feels like déjà vu
Our community cannot afford our current Town Council’s inability to understand its legal commitment to pay its debt to Mammoth Lakes Land Acquisiton. This is ultimately going to cost property owners, business owners, local families, second homeowners, and the hard working people who live in our community $7,000 a day interest on top of the $30 million judgment, plus attorneys’ fees. To me it’s clear. The court’s unanimous decision was handed down on Dec. 30, 2010. The 66-page decision recounts the Town’s non-communication with the FAA and project developers, the Town’s changing its motives from private development to creating the airport for commercial airline service, the Town’s Unwillingness to Seriously Negotiate a Settlement, and the Town’s belief it had the right to Simply Walk Away from their Signed Agreement. Now Town Council and Staff are failing us again. Have our current Town Manager, Town Attorney, and 5 member Town Council read the 66-page court document that states why the Town lost this lawsuit?
According to MLLA regarding the settlement [The Sheet 2/11/12] “The Town has completely failed to follow through on the representations.” Feels like déjà vu. MLLA has now filed for a Writ of Mandate to enforce judgment and require the Town to pay the settlement in its entirety. Déjà vu again.
In 1997 Councilmember John Eastman voted “YES” to approve the Development Agreement with Terry Ballas. Eastman is the only remaining start-to-finish councilmember who has been undeniably a council participant in the Hot Creek litigation/MLLA payment settlement and is still making decisions regarding this issue. Why is Eastman actively involved in this process when he was one of the original Town Councilmembers who contributed in the unprecedented breach-of–contract in the first place? He confirmed in The Sheet on 2/8/12, “that there is still an ocean between what the Town was offering and what MLLA was requesting” in regards to the payment to MLLA. More déjà vu.
We need to ask our community: Should we hold our elected officials accountable? Should we investigate whether there has been any neglect or misconduct? Should we pursue their resignation, removal, or civil action?
I do not know what was said in all the closed sessions or at every Town Council meeting in which Eastman was a participant during the past 15 years, but I assume there is a process (petition?) to find out if any councilmember has made misleading statements, participated in dereliction of duty, failed to disclose relevant facts, or failed to regard advice provided by Town attorney, Town manager, and Chief Finance officer. My analogy to this lawsuit / settlement debacle is : Our elected Mammoth Lakes Town Council drove the bus off a cliff, we the Community are all in that bus, and it’s about to hit solid ground!
Stop the madness
Since I only knew Dr. Bourne as his patient, I hesitated to address what I believed was primarily a family’s tragedy. But then I read the various letters to the editor last week which demonstrated the tragic and public nature of Bourne’s actions. Considering this, I believe there is a need for yet another voice. It is my hope that we all will consider the following:
The Bourne family needs to grieve and recover. We should give them this opportunity and stop publicly venting opinions and feelings. Mr. Bourne shut his case by taking his life. We cannot know what might have been the outcome of a formal trial with evidence and counter evidence. Given our limited knowledge, the community does not have the responsible means to conduct a public trial. On the other hand, when well meaning people seek to publicly defend or exonerate Mr. Bourne, this only invites public debate. Really, there can be no meaningful debate. He’s gone. If you need help dealing with your feelings, then by all means seek help from the clergy, a health care person, or your close friends.
It cannot be denied that the Bourne families’ tragedy has touched us all. For some, it has invoked painful memories from the past. My eldest brother was convicted of a horrible crime and imprisoned for it. Though his crime was despicable, he had tried to be a good brother to me and this is what I chose to dwell on. Whatever Mr. Bourne was to others, Mrs. Bourne and her children have the right to remember the best about their husband and daddy. Their future is at stake, not ours and certainly not Mr. Bourne’s. As a community, we will be better served by helping all the families through this horrific time.
I understand how such a public tragedy as this touches the pain and concern within each of us. The apostle Paul expressed this very well in his second letter to the Corinthian church: “Who is weak without my being weak? Who is led into sin without my intense concern?” Each of us have probably asked, “Could this happen to my family?” or, “Could I do such a thing?” Let this tragedy be a wake up call for each of us to run life’s race with integrity in every area of our lives from beginning to end.
Please join with me in praying for and serving these families and our community. Also, let us all be the example our community needs. Again, let us identify with the apostle Paul as he writes, “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.”(Philippians 2:3-4).
Justin L. Everson, Pastor
Mammoth Community Church
Rebutting the rebuttal
I didn’t like “HAP’S” rebuttal [The Sheet, Feb. 11] to Elizabeth Boyd. Hap says he retired from the Mono County Sheriff Department with a generous pension of close to 90% of his salary plus health insurance for himself and his family. He states, “I’m the discount Supervisor.” B.S. Hap is still making the same salary as the rest of the Supervisors. Hap earned his retirement with the County and receives benefits, which calculate to the same amount as the other Supervisors. There is no discount.
Hap then goes on to elaborate on his law enforcement career of 30 years. The streets of Mono County are dangerous, as any other parts of the country. Hap states he had been “shot at four times by a 12 ga. shotgun.” B.S. again. I was on the same call. Man with a gun shooting in a local campground south of June Lake Junction. Upon my arrival, I met with several other deputies, including Hap. Hap stated he had been shot at and in a panic jumped into his patrol vehicle, attempted to put it in reverse, but was unable to because he forgot to put his brake on so it would shift. Upon retreat Hap arrived at our location on U.S. 395.
With a Lt. on scene and Sgt. Hazard, it was determined it was too dangerous to apprehend an armed suspect, shooting in a public campground with numerous vacationing tourists in harm’s way. In Hap’s opinion, it was best to leave an armed suspect who had just attempted to kill a police officer, roam free. It was the decision of both Hap and a Lt. to leave this call for day shift. Well, day shift came on and the suspect left the area. No suspect was ever arrested for attempted murder of a peace officer. If the suspect had been shooting a shotgun at Sgt. Hazard there would have been evidence.
Hap then states, “I’ve had numerous knives pulled on me.” B.S. again. During my 30-year career I never had a knife pulled on me. If this was the fact Hap had every right to use deadly force which was never done. In fact I don’t remember Hap ever arresting anyone for attempting to kill him. How stupid can numerous suspects be to bring a knife to a gunfight.
And then Hap states he, “had been involved in more fights than he can remember.” B.S. again. Seems Hap was always the last one at a fight. Pull the records from Mono County Sheriff and see how many arrests Hap ever made for 242 P.C.
This is your Supervisor, District 2. You make the choice, POLITICIAN or LIAR one and the same.
Mono County Sheriff’s Dept. 1975-2003