On July 11, there was a special meeting held in Suite Z to discuss options for the funding of the commercial air subsidy to Alaska Airlines. I stood up and openly challenged one of Mammoth’s Supervisors, Mr. Byng Hunt, after his comments on the podium to our Town Council and the people of Mammoth.
I want to say that I am sorry to each and everyone in Mammoth and Mono County … for not saying more!!
I am continually amazed by our elected officials in Bridgeport; did Mr. Hunt not learn from other supervisors that have recently been replaced? Does Mr. Hunt not realize that the economic engine [for this county] begins in Mammoth? Does Mr. Hunt not understand that the majority of property tax revenue originates in Mammoth? Does Mr. Hunt think that losing air service will help June Lake, Crowley Lake or Lee Vining? You may be surprised, Mr. Hunt, to learn that there are people in Bishop who use our airport and the air service provided.
I failed to point out these exact issues and others and I am deeply sorry for not holding Mr. Hunt’s feet to the fire. I want to publicly say that I will point my finger at you and any elected official whom I feel is not representing the majority and the good of the people. And I am pointing my finger at you, Supervisor Hunt, to get whatever information you need (it is available) to understand that commercial air service benefits the majority of Mono County and Mammoth. It brings in new business, convenience to local residents, additional bed tax, FAA funds, money spent in our establishments and enplanement dollars.
And don’t say those that benefit should pay; MMSA pays millions per year for this and a far greater percentage than they benefit. I am working with Mr. Urdi to find a way business owners may contribute and receive ticket vouchers for their direct investment even though the Mammoth business community is taxed beyond belief and suffering from a poor winter.
The county has meagerly supported the air service subsidy the last 2 years with a continued increase in traffic at our airport (adjusted for the drought) and now wants to back out. To me this is just another case of an elected official not realizing who he is elected by and who he should be representing. In 2 years, I will be here to make sure people are reminded of your lack of support to the people of Mammoth who elected you.
As for your comments to the Mammoth Town Council about getting back to basics – have you had your head buried in the sand in the last year? Do you not realize what the Council has gone through, what the staff has given up, the cuts that have been made and the people that have been affected? HOLY MOTHER OF PEARL, please prove me wrong and correct the path you are traveling down. Support the Mammoth/Yosemite Airport and contribute $100,000 from the County.
And as far as “getting back to basics” there is nothing basic about the challenges we all face today. We all need to work together, get creative, contribute as much as we can and openly communicate with each other.
Thank you, Skip
The Town of Mammoth Lakes lost a true and genuine public servant today. “Skip” Harvey was candid, concerned and cared deeply for our Village in the Trees.
Stress kills, but Skip stayed the course and served our town as long as humanly possible. We miss you, Skip.
Sharon R. Clark