Election rules same, but different
The California primary election is the first since Prop. 14 changed the rules. Now, any voter can vote for any party’s candidate for all offices but one: the party nominee for President of the United States.
Only persons registered as a Republican or Democrat can vote for their party’s presidential candidate. All other offices can be voted for regardless of the voter’s party preference.
Prop. 14 changed things so that only the top two primary vote getters, regardless of party will be on the November general election ballot. That means that in some districts it will be two Republicans or two Democrats running against one another.
One of the hidden consequences of Prop. 14 is the complete marginalization of smaller, so called third, parties. It is extraordinarily unlikely that there will be a Green or Libertarian Party candidate on any general election ballot in California. This will certainly be true for the presidential election.
At this point, it does not matter if you were against Prop. 14 as I was, it only matters that the people voted for it. The people sometimes do things like that, vote for things that are ill-conceived and that will hurt their best interests, the high speed rail for example. What matters is that we have to deal with it.
Thaddeus W. Taylor, Chairman
Inyo County Republican Party
Turner makes corrections
I want to sincerely thank you for your article about the growth of Mammoth Brewing Company on Page 2 of this last week’s paper, however I just want to clarify some points that may be misconstrued:
1) Mammoth Brewing Company has NO interest in the Community Center property near The Village in Mammoth Lakes for our production facility, even if it was offered to us for free. It is too small and way too far into town, among a dozen other reasons, for us to even consider it.
2) Mammoth Brewing Company is not working directly with Inyo County in our recent negotiations for a large land parcel or building in the Bishop area. Rather, we are in discussions with a private party and both Inyo County and the City of Bishop are being very supportive in the entitlement and planning processes.
3) Our planned facility is estimated at $12 million total, not $3 million. The $3 million number is for the brewing equipment alone.
Mammoth Brewing Company
Check the pockets
There is an obvious reality apparent to everyone but the MLLA [Mammoth Lakes Land Acquisition] investors (yes, investors, see below) and their attorneys: Even without the [airport] lawsuit, the Town is on economic hard times, and it never was or will be a deep pocketed defendant capable of satisfying the judgment in any meaningful way any time in a generation.
Perhaps we’re mistaken. Has the Town of Mammoth Lakes [TOML] hidden tens of millions of dollars in assets and income? Have real estate values (and therefore property tax income) not dropped in half since the market crashed? Have all of the layoffs, furloughs and reduced salaries been a figment of our imaginations? Has there been more snow, visitation, and TOT [room tax] that any of us have realized this season? Is there a secret war chest of funds readily available to pay the judgment? Is Mammoth poised to generate massive income typically seen by metropolitan municipalities and large corporate entities, becoming capable of satisfying the judgment and while also providing for the welfare of its citizens?
Blinded by the bells and whistles going off on the proverbial jackpot machine for the big payout, MLLA investors — and their attorneys — fail to recognize that there are simply not enough coins in the machine to pay out the projected winnings, and there never will be.
In every potential lawsuit, a plaintiff’s lawyer needs to evaluate three crucial elements of the proposed case. (1) Is the defendant legally responsible for damages sustained by the plaintiff — is the defendant liable? (2) Are the damages significant enough to warrant pursuing? One cannot spend $100,000 in legal fees to recover $20,000. Finally, and perhaps most important, (3) Assuming the plaintiff prevails, does the defendant have sufficient assets and income to satisfy the judgment?
You can have the best case in the world, but if the defendant doesn’t have the means to pay, the case is still a dog. A $500,000 judgment against a person with no assets, no substantial income, and little hope a acquiring either is worth, guess what, almost nothing. While TOML does have some assets, it is not the City of Los Angeles. Mammoth Lakes is not a corporate giant with hundreds of millions of dollars in income and assets — We’re not talking Dupont Corporation or McDonald’s here. Mammoth Lakes is, and always will be, a very small rural resort town of modest means and assets, a community of a mere 8,400 residents by the latest census.
Apparently, MLLA was not the original injured party, but an investment group that purchased the rights to a lawsuit. Yes, you can do that with a breach of contract case in California; and you can buy the rights and pursue it as if it were your own. At that point, though, it is a mere investment. MLLA is comprised of nothing but a group individuals who invested in a gamble. MLLA won the case and the gamble, but what is it worth when the defendant has insufficient means to pay, but does have an obligation to provide for the residents of a community?
The MLLA investors — and their lawyers — should look at the raw facts related to their investment and decide on what would be a fair return on their investment, given this particular defendant and its ability to pay, as well as considering the great hardship they will be causing on the good citizens of this community for years to come.
MLLA investors took their case to the public, going to the press to pressure the TOML to pay up. Well, I have a suggestion. If they really want to go public, then how about they attend a public town hall meeting to greet the residents here? Let them explain to the public face to face what they want and why they deserve it in light of the Town’s economic condition and its ability to pay. Going to the press was easy, but do they have the courage to actually meet the public here in Town?
And while they are at, it would be edifying if MLLA would justify the return on investment that they are seeking. Various numbers have been bandied about as rumors as to what was paid to invest in the Hot Creek lawsuit, between 2 to 5 million dollars. How much was paid? If the investment was five million dollars, and after paying attorney’s fees MLLA received ten million dollars, that would be a 100% return, not bad in any times, let alone during the greatest recession since the Great Depression.
So, MLLA investors, how much was paid to invest and what kind of a return are you looking for? You want to go public, go public with these facts. Also, keep in mind, given what happened to the economy, real estate values, and the financial markets, the Hot Creek project would not have been built even if TOML had given an unequivocal green light to charge forward with the development. Keep these factors in mind as you seek to squeeze every penny from a defendant that doesn’t really have the means to pay, a defendant that is responsible to provide important services and a certain quality of life for 8,400 local citizens.
I have lived in Mammoth Lakes for 30 years, owned and operated Sierra Jewelers and raised my three children here. During this time, Kevin Worden has been a friend of mine and a mentor to my children when they attended Mammoth High School.
I have always financially supported Kevin’s high school productions and admired his work with the youth in this community. Kevin has brought together all 3 schools, the art department, the music department, athletes and members of the entire Eastern Sierra in his MHS productions. His classroom has always been a safe haven, especially for those students that don’t quite fit in. He also has been instrumental in establishing live theater and entertainment in Mammoth Lakes, a job no other teacher, educator or actor has had the wherewithall to accomplish, and in doing so, has been a part of forming our community and positively molding the lives of his students, a number of whom have gone on to work professionally in the arts.
I know he pours countless hours and energy into each production. He donates his own time and money, often sacrificing family time and financial gain to help students put on the best production possible, and has influenced many young people in becoming successful adults.
Kevin has two children who attend Mammoth High School, one a special needs child, and the other one was practically born in the MPR during a musical production with Kevin’s wife, Nancy, playing piano in the orchestra. Both kids have been raised “in a trunk” attending rehearsals and finally performing in the productions. How are they going to be affected when Dad isn’t there for them? Who is going to provide the extra support this special needs child has come to depend on?
Kevin has endlessly given to the students of Mammoth Unified School District. I strongly urge the MUSD board to retain Kevin Worden as the Drama Teacher and Play Director at Mammoth High School.