MLR + MLTPA = Insufficient
An Open Letter to Town Council:
At the February 23 MLR (Mammoth Lakes Recreation) meeting, an upcoming item for your March 18 agenda was discussed in detail.
MLR will ask Town Council to approve an agreement between two non-profits: MLR and MLTPA (Mammoth Lakes Trails and Public Access), allowing MLR to contract with MLTPA (using taxpayer Measure R funds) to hire a trails coordinator, and produce various (unnamed) trails-related projects.
Currently, neither organization has an executive director, any employees, or professional recreation/trails expertise. What I find disturbing is that there was no consideration given to contract with the Town, Forest Service, or BLM to hire a part-time professional, or at a minimum fund one of those agencies’ employees to keep things moving forward until the non-profits can perhaps hire an employee with demonstrated trails expertise.
The Measure R trails budget is $300,000 per year, and the recommending body was formerly the MLTS CC (Mammoth Lakes Trails System Coordinating Committee, volunteers and contracted staff), with monthly public meetings and full disclosure of contracts. With the formation of MLR, the Town Council dissolved that committee in early June, 2014.
Another alternative not considered was to contract with Friends of the Inyo, a non-profit organization which works closely with the USFS and BLM, and which provides leadership, expertise in trails construction and maintenance, including all of the tools and supplies each year for the Town’s Trails Stewardship Days and Lakes Basin Stewards program.
Unfortunately, the MLR proposal for a trails committee includes only board members of MLR and MLTPA, plus one town staff, and no other public members.
I am asking the Town’s elected Council members to seriously question this flawed proposal, and ask why no other alternatives are considered. This proposal is a “sole-source” contract, as no other reasonable option has been considered. The Town is not allowed to issue a sole source contract without considering professionals in the field, or without requesting an RFQ (Request for Qualifications). Issuing a “professional services contract” to non-profit boards with no professional employees is questionable, in my mind.
Measure R was approved by the taxpayers of our town, and we wish to see it allocated very carefully and in a fully transparent manner. Thank you in advance for your consideration of this matter.
Culinary students shine at Round Fire Community Dinner
On Friday, March 6, 2015, the Mammoth High School Culinary Arts Program had the privilege to organize and host a community dinner for the residents and volunteers who were affected by the recent devastation of the Round Fire. The willingness of the students and staff who sign-up to participate was overwhelming. There was a feeling of community support and encouragement throughout the evening, with lots of hugs and a few tears.
On behalf of all faculty and students at Mammoth High School, we would like to offer our sincerest appreciation for the generous donations provided by Vons at Mammoth, The Village Starbucks, Lou and Marc Margulies with Mammoth Laundry Annex, John Morris with Snowcreek, and many other business and volunteers who made the Round Fire Community Dinner Event such a success. Together is a beautiful place to be.
MUSD Food Svcs. Director