Mammoth Lakes Town Council solicited public comment on Wednesday regarding the tentative litigation settlement with nemesis MLLA (Mammoth Lakes Land Acquisition).
No member of the public took the bait.
Unlike Council, most folks tend to feel awkward commenting about things they don’t know anything about.
And seeing as Council has not publicly stated the terms of the proposed deal, how could anyone possibly weigh in on it?
Given that Council has refused to divulge the facts, The Sheet feels it only fitting to make some educated guesses about the result.
My guess, at the outset, was that whatever deal was ultimately struck, that the past four years of obfuscation, deceit and lollygagging on the Town’s part would not be rewarded. Courts, at least based upon my observation, do not reward this type of behavior.
So … don’t count on any type of discount. Consider that $30 million judgment from 2008 with the $2.6 million tacked on in attorney fees as a baseline number. Never mind the money we’ve spent on it since. As for the timeline it’ll take to pay it off, only Dave McCoy figures to be alive by the time it’s done, since he plans on living forever.
Second, I believe all Town revenue sources are in play. After all, our own Town Attorney Andrew Morris wrote a brief approximately a year ago in which he stated that Council could ultimately spend Measures R and U money in any way it saw fit because, “California state law does not allow voters to establish minimum general fund spending requirements, because that would compromise Council’s authority over fiscal management.”
So, in essence, Council can reduce general fund spending by any sum it chooses, backfill that with R and U, and then spend the general fund savings on anything it pleases (like, say, a litigation settlement for example).
The sad irony is R and U were both passed by voters after the litigation judgment in April 2008.
Meaning, Mammoth residents ultimately voted to tax themselves to pay off the judgment, and conveniently Town government didn’t bother to warn them that this was a distinct possibilty until after the fact.
So I suppose the legacy of the Trails program will be that the Town will build several trails … from its offices to every ATM in town.