The following email was sent to senior staff at the Town of Mammoth Lakes last Friday.
My name is Michael Jones and I work for Mono County Community Development and act as the Community Development Representative for the JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion) Committee. After a recent Equity training, the topic of the parcel was brought up and mention about parking concerns were referenced as an example of “bad” equity. The associated assumptions that certain community members will use public transportation exemplified our town’s current stance on equity and I feel very concerned that the town council members have essentially not put forth much effort in understanding how these decisions will affect our community’s desire for unity and overall approach to equity and equality.
I would like to request that the town considers working to develop a “racial impact assessment report” prior to moving forward with the current parcel design (specifically parking) in an attempt to demonstrate that Mono County and the Town of Mammoth Lakes takes equity very seriously and is doing everything they can to define all options afforded to us, considerate of our economic and community engagement efforts moving forward. I would greatly appreciate all considerations made to this request as our community strives to “stand strong” through unprecedented times like these.
A reference to the following link was also presented during the recent equity training, https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/takeatest.html. I believe that if decision making boards and councils considered participating in one of these tests prior to passing any provisions that affect the community, it may help minds be more considerate of topics regarding implicit bias and inequality. This is a topic that a lot of people are currently uncomfortable with but I have high hopes that the Town of Mammoth Lakes will demonstrate the utmost desire to be considerate of our communities differences and put actions in place to prioritize awareness and concern for these topics. Thank you for your time and considerations.
Mono County Community Development
For those who may be somewhat confused.
Mammoth Lakes Town Council approved the first development phase of The Parcel at its meeting on Wednesday, February 3.
One of the complaints regarding phase one has been that allotted parking does not meet town requirements.
The project calls for 118 spaces (93 understructure and 25 street) for the first 89 units.
Councilman John Wentworth acknowledged “We know we’re thirteen short at the moment.”
Mono County Supervisor Jennifer Kreitz, former Director of Mammoth Lakes Housing, suggested that the parking shortage must speak to inherent, closeted discrimination and/or racism toward potential Parcel residents.
After all, we can’t expect poorer folks to take the bus while wealthier folks drive their cars around town. That isn’t “equitable.”
She pointed out that in rural communities like ours, cars are essential. Many services [e.g. medical] require a long drive to a distant suburban/urban centers. She argued that tenants should have a role in determining whether the parking plan is appropriate or not.
Earlier in the meeting, project developer Andrea Clark and colleague Shellan Rodriguez had talked about project tradeoffs. You can have more parking, but that generally comes at the expense of either units and/or neighborhood character (trees).
Clark and Rodriguez are way too diplomatic and kind.
Equity? You’re worried about equity? Give me a f’ing break!
The Town (all of us taxpayers) paid $7 million for the land.
We (taxpayers) are now collectively (on a local, state, federal level) going to spend approximately $450,000 per unit to build subsidized housing for our neighbors.
If I’m spending that type of money on you, are you really gonna raise your hand and say, “Geez, you know, thanks for the half-mil you dropped on me, but … I’d really prefer not to take the bus.”
If you don’t like the terms of the arrangement, don’t live there.
Kreitz mentioned in her comment that she had recently participated in a Mono County “Equity Training.” Heavens. As a general rule, don’t participate in brainwashings unless you’re promised a signed autograph from Reverend Moon afterwards.
Damnit. And I vowed to be nice this week. I can only imagine what the Equity Training Consultant cost.
Hold on. I’m gonna hold an impromptu Equity Training with reporter Owen Page right now. It should be a brief meeting, as the editorial staff consists of … us.
Lunch: Owen, I want to assure you that I reached out to many candidates of diverse backgrounds, gender and sexual orientation when I was recruiting for your job.
Owen: Okay …
Lunch: You were the only one dumb enough to accept.
Lunch: And I want to assure you that I don’t look down on you for living in The Ghetto.
Owen: Well, I am living in your old condo …
Lunch: Shhh. First of all, it wasn’t my condo. I married into it. And I apologize for my misstatement above. You don’t live in a Ghetto. You live in Sierra Valley Sites.
Owen: Umm. Is this Equity Training for you or me?
Lunch: I want to assure you I don’t hold it against you for driving to work and generating greenhouse emissions when I know it’s close enough for you to walk or bike. I just want you to drive so you don’t feel slighted that I drive while you walk. In fact, I want to buy you a second car so you feel better about yourself.
Owen: But I don’t need …
Lunch: Fine. Three cars. But that’s my limit.
Owen: Are we going to hire anyone else soon? I’m kinda getting burnt out, seeing as the editorial staff’s just down to you and me.
Lunch: I’m so sorry. Take next week off. Double pay. I’m sorry I haven’t been sensitive enough to your feelings. Are you sure there’s not something you wish to tell me?
Owen: Pretty sure.
Lunch: You’re gay?
Lunch: You think AOC is hot?
Owen: She’s certainly attractive.
Lunch: Aha! Well, I’d hire her if I could, but we can’t. That would be discriminating against less attractive candidates.
Owen: I’m pretty sure she likes the job she’s got.
Lunch: I see. What about you? You like this job?
Lunch: What don’t you like about it?
Owen: Equity Training.
Lunch: If that’s the type of person you are, maybe you shouldn’t be working here.
At right are the new drawings associated with the proposed CRC (MUF for long-timers) which is going before Council for an up/down on Wednesday. The meeting will begin on Zoom beginning at 4 p.m. It is the final item listed on the agenda so will likely not be heard before 6:30 p.m. at the earliest.
The Community Recreation Center is proposed to be a 40,300 square foot Sprung Structure located behind the new inclusive playground on the southwest corner of the Mammoth Creek Park site. The approximate 56-foot tall and 130-foot wide facility will provide year-round programming for the community and visitors.
Town Recreation Manager Stu Brown said there’s a new site plan and a new floor plan.
The low bid (of six) came in at $8.9 million from Hamel Construction of Murrieta.
The Sprung Structure, Chiller, Dasher boards and Glass would be purchased separately at a cost of approximately $3 million according to Brown.
The bid does not include a previously discussed mezzanine level with 2,500-square feet of community space. This can be added later.
The 119 proposed parking spaces would also constitute an additional expense.
Though the project (with parking and mobility hub) is approximately $1.8 million more expensive than the $13 million-and-no-more cap suggested previously by Council, construction costs have increased 15% over the past five years, so the staff report suggests $15 million is the new $13 million.
The facility is expected to cost $650,000 annually to operate.