Mono County will continue to grow. The choice we have is on where that growth happens and what happens to our community. Our safety, our civic participation, our children's education, our support for each other: these are what define us.
Public Safety - Emergency Medicine
As a firefighter and current member of Mono County Search & Rescue, I have a close connection with people in their time of need. I want to substantially bolster our county's emergency medical response in ways that reduce costs and increase results. Innovative programs, such as regular house calls on residents with chronic health problems saves lives and reduces healthcare costs ultimately put on taxpayers. Recently, even training that would have no costs has been cut by county staff. Emergency medical response is easy to ignore right up until you or your loved one need to call 911. We simply cannot kick this can further down the road.
I have been and will continue to head into the backcountry to provide emergency medical services. There is a wealth of sound and practical ideas from the EMS community I am looking forward to implementing.
Public Safety - law enforcement
In fall of 2016, a resident in Mammoth Lakes was gunned down in a hail of gunfire in front of his home. Rite Aid's pharmacy has been robbed in broad daylight. Mammoth Lakes police and Mono County Deputies routinely find drug traffickers who openly admit to knowing that because of reduced law enforcement funding they have an easier time moving drugs like methamphetamine and opioids into and through our community.
Mammoth Lakes and Mono County needs the tools, dollars, and support to aggressively tackle commercial narcotics traffickers and violent offenders. The damage to our communities is profound and is not a legacy we can pass on to our children.
CHILD CARE - preschool
Raising a family is hard, but raising one in Mammoth Lakes can be incredibly difficult. Even with strong family and financial resources there is less than a handful of places for working parents to rely on for safe, affordable, and nurturing child care. Our community isn't just us: it's the the children who will soon be the voters, workers, and civic leaders. Evidence is clear that early childhood education has a massive impact on future academic success. Additionally, those parents who can't work when they want to cause jobs to go unfilled, which further hurts our communities economically.
Through financial incentives and favoring local working parents we can solve this problem.
Housing - we're done waiting
Living in Mono County, and especially Mammoth Lakes, housing is the elephant in every corner of local issues. With a winter season that triples the workforce over that of the summer months, out-of-town owners moving to AirBnb style offerings, and wages far out of step with available home prices it is little wonder that the problem has spiraled out of control.
Numerous groups, particularly Mammoth Lakes Housing, have spent serious time understanding this issue but what's needed now is political will and drive. I will immediately work on legislation to address these issues.
- Restructure the property tax program to better favor residents. The primary-home deduction (for people who truly live and work in Mono County) is too small. Residents who live in Mammoth full time are already paying the 1% tourism tax in addition to higher costs overall, year round. It is more cost effective to own a home in Mammoth and live elsewhere, renting out your Mammoth property. This completely erodes community, and puts home prices on a precarious knife edge tied directly to tourism revenue. Our economy needs components that can straddle good and bad snow years. Coupling home inventory to nightly visitors which is directly tied to snowfall is an economic time bomb.
- Providing home buying assistance to the people who make our community what it is: paramedics, teachers, police, and other critical categories. It is nothing short of appalling that the people who we rely on to make our neighborhoods safe cannot afford to live in them. From a medical and law enforcement perspective this is also dangerous. Do you want your on-call police officer or paramedic to be at home in Bishop or in Mammoth when needed? A system like has already been in place with the Mammoth Community Water District and has achieved outstanding results. By providing low-to-no interest loans on down payments, we can clear the hurdles that block home sales to some of our most committed community members.
- Expanding the economy that is not tied to tourism. With 45 minute flights to Los Angeles, world class Internet access, and an amazing community for raising a family many new and old residents of Mammoth and Mono are able to provide a stable economic pillar. Architects that travel to Los Angeles occasionally, retirement advisors who travel to Bakersfield, and computer scientists who fly or drive to San Francisco on occasion: these residents become fixtures of the community and help to stabilize the local economy and housing markets through good and bad tourism times.
The housing crisis in Mammoth is just that, and we need to be done with half measures. It is time to treat this as a serious problem that is actively transforming our community. By increasing our non-tourism economy, helping those who make our community safe and strong, and restructuring our property tax code to better favor residents, we can right this ship.