Just so we can all appreciate what happens when we sit on our hands and don’t pull the trigger on an investment …
I was peeking through archives this week and a couple of items from 2005 seem pertinent.
First, the front page headline from the October 22, 2005 edition. “Council Mulls Parking Structure/Ice Rink Proposal for North Village.”
*Note: Any reference to mulling is always a bad sign. Mulling most often leads to inaction. They should only mull with wine.
The proposal: An NHL-sized rink atop a three-level, 197-space parking structure on the acre lot the Town owns (part of the Intrawest development agreement) next to the Westin Monache.
The estimated cost at the time: $17.3 million.
I’ll include the Council discussion snippet of the story here:
“On the most recent local tax eater tour of peer resorts, tax eaters found that ice rinks catered to a largely local clientele. ‘Do we want locals going to the Village to play hockey?’ asked Tourism and Recreation Commissioner Jefferson Lanz.
“It’s [the Village] supposed to be synergistic,” replied Town Councilman Kirk Stapp. The Village is not meant to be merely a tourist venue, but is supposed to mesh with the local community.
“Maybe this is a way to force [local resident/Village] interaction,” added T & R Commissioner Gregg Simas.
Stapp did openly question whether the Town needs a multi-use facility in the Village, and for the umpteenth time, both Councilmen and T & R Commissioners spoke longingly of developing Mammoth Creek Park instead. “Is sagebrush really the highest and best use of Mammoth Creek Park?” said Stapp.
As history has borne out, we’ve ended up with an unloved, roof-less rink behind the library .
These days, all $13 million will get you is a rink and a tent, never mind a three-level, 197-space parking garage. And what became of the acre of Town property next to the Westin? The highest, best use is apparently forty surface parking spots.
The other front page headline from October 22, 2005. “MMSA sale translates into real estate rally.”
In the story, the late, great George Fowler observes that in the wake of MMSA’s sale to Starwood, October ‘05 real estate sales in Mammoth doubled year-over-year.
Paul Oster adds, “Interestingly, all this has occurred with the airport, or lack of airport being a non-issue. In fact,” he said, “Southern California buyers find a certain comfort level in being just a tankful of gas from home. And some talking heads advise that a 2nd home is a best defense against terrorism or a natural disaster.”
Like coronavirus. Nosterdamus!
And it’s interesting that 15 years later, we’ve had a whole next surge of visitation and real estate activity, again without commercial air service.
In the October 29, 2005 issue, then-MMSA CEO Rusty Gregory gave his State of the Town address. Where he was keen on building workforce housing, and not so keen on ice rinks and parking garages. Which likely killed the rink proposal for the North Village.
And famous last words from Rusty regarding Starwood. “Private capital has no incentive to even out their results. They want results now. They’ll want to move faster than Intrawest.”
I generally try to avoid politics in the final issue before election day, but there is one item I’d like to address.
Outgoing Mono County Supervisor Fred Stump sent out an email last week (I’m assuming to the District 2 constituency at large) stating the following:
I have become aware of a rumor concerning the District 2 Supervisor election. I am not sure how wide spread it is but since it is out there I am going to comment. Both candidates running to take my place are included in this email and I have spoken with each of them. Members of the local press are also included.
The rumor is that I have endorsed Ms. Rhonda Duggan to take my place. I have not endorsed either Ms. Duggan or Mr. Rhodes. It is not my place to try and pick my replacement. That is up to you.
Since January I have sent each District 2 Supervisor Candidate every agenda and link to Board packets for every meeting I attend. Prior to the Primary Election, pre-covid, I offered to meet with each candidate. Since the Primary I have had an open invitation with the remaining two to speak if they have questions or want information. I do not require that either Ms. Duggan or Mr. Rhodes agree with my positions but simply have access to the same information I do, Closed Session items excepted.
Editor’s note: He then lists ten entities that he serves on, I assume to let us all know how hard he works. Then …
I share this information so that whomever takes my place will be as current with District 2 and County issues as possible. The District 2 residents are better served by this approach.
You may have noticed that Mr. Rhodes does not have a statement in the year, now resolved, that caused him to miss Sample Ballot printing timelines. The County Clerk’s office did reach out to Mr. Rhodes, public records available on that, but unfortunately no connection was made within the deadlines. The County Clerk is not authorized to make exceptions, even for this justifiable reason, to the deadlines.
I encourage you to contact either Mr. Rhodes or Ms. Duggan if you have questions about how they see their potential service as the District 2 Supervisor. I believe that both of them have made their email addresses public.
This elicited the following reply from yours truly:
My personal response would be as follows.
I don’t really care who you support, but it’s bullshit to repeat Mr. Rhodes’s health excuse as the reason for why he has not campaigned one iota for this job or had a written comment placed in the sample ballot.
By repeating that excuse in your letter, you give it credibility and it deserves none.
Then, and I apologize here, because Fred wrote a response and I’d repeat it verbatim but it appears I deleted it, Fred makes some reference to there being only one person of credibility in this email exchange, etc. Whatever.
But this is what bothers me.
Why is Fred Stump carrying Joshua Rhodes’s water? Isn’t it up to Mr. Rhodes to communicate to the electorate why he didn’t get a candidate statement placed? And who is Mr. Stump to declare the reason ‘justifiable?’
And now, guest-starring as King Solomon …
I received a letter from Mr. Rhodes’s wife a few weeks ago. It was basically masquerading as a campaign ad. I told her that if her husband wanted another bite of the media apple before the election, he needed to submit to an interview. because now I had this letter from Stump and I wanted to grill Rhodes as to what happened to him and why he was incapacitated and why he couldn’t even get a statement in – as opposed to simply taking Fred’s word for it.
Never heard back. What a shocker.
As to the part in Stump’s letter about dispelling a rumor that he endorsed Duggan. Why give it oxygen?
I’ll tell you why. Because Fred would like to think he’s relevant, and that his opinion actually matters in this race. It does not. This race is over. It’s just math. I’ll explain.
For kicks, I drove through Crowley this morning on my way to the office in Mammoth. Past the store on South Landing Road and then out Crowley Lake Drive. There were two campaign signs for Duggan. Zero for Rhodes. You wouldn’t even know there’s a local election happening.
Given the population split in the district, If the Tri-Valley candidate has no campaign presence in Crowley and Swall Meadows, he’s toast. Unless Crowley residents somehow decide that being represented by someone who’s not their neighbor and demonstrates no interest in them is a good idea.
The results from the March primary bear this out.
Duggan beat Rhodes in Long Valley and Swall Meadows by 440-171.
Rhodes beat Duggan in Tri-Valley 318-123.
Eric Olson’s write-in candidacy was what threw this race into a runoff. All but two of his votes came from Crowley and Swall. 90% of those folks would have to tilt Rhodes’ way on Election Day. And that’s not happening. Not when the guy hasn’t put the work in over the past eight months.
To complete the picture regarding business grants in Inyo County, I asked Bishop Chamber Executive Director Tawni Thomson for stats on two programs the Chamber administered.
The first round involved the distribution of $45,000 donated by a private individual. The ask in the submitted applications totaled approximately $200,000. Recipients and amounts below:
Bishop Twin Theatre $4,000
Laws Museum $2,500
Spellbinder Books $5,000
Eastside Sports $2,000
Discovery Point Preschool $3,500
Rusty’s Saloon and Grill $1,700
C5 Studios $3,000
Bishop Art Supply $1,300
Astorgas Family Restaurant $3,000
Luxe Salon $1,000
Tanya Zaleschuk, LLC $500
In the Zone Massage $750
CrossFit Bishop $1,100
Body & Soul $950
Rolling Chef $2,000
Mammoth Gear Exchange $800
CrossFit Radiate $800
Sierra Shanti Studio $1,000
Bishop VFW Post 8988 $1,400
Pioneer Home Health $2,300
Cielo Hotel $1,400
Slasa’s Taqueria II $1,000
McMurry’s Bar $1,700
The Village Motel $1,000
Broncos Deli $1,050
Bishop Creek Lodge $1,000
Days Inn – Bishop $1,250
Bishop Rotary then funded a second round of grants in the amount of $8,400. These were for businesses to make necessary investments in order to be Covid-compliant.
Bishop Twin Theatre $500
Tri County Fairgrounds $1,000
Laws Museum $1,000
Discovery Point Preschool $1,350
Sierra Mountain Center $400
Sage to Summit $350
Pupfish Café $500
VFW Post 8988 $400
McMurry’s Bar $400
C5 Studios $300
The Rubber Room $500
The Rolling Chef $400
Owens Valley Acupuncture $500
FlowMotion Pilates $500
Albright Vending Service $300