Mammoth Lakes has consistently had a difficult time attracting qualified, disinterested candidates for its Town Council. Council Members have consistently shown an unwillingness or inability to lead the Town Government on all but the least contentious issues, or to accept responsibility for decisions made on their watch. Why is this?

Does mammoth lakes  have the best possible municipal structure?

Seeking to Improve Checks and Balances by Restructuring our Municipal Government

Payment For Town Council:  we should pay

Paid and Elected Mayor:

NGO Partnership and Oversight: Support and accountability for MLR, MLT, MLTPA: Our government has been evolving towards a somewhat sophisticated model of outsourcing. This will continue to reduce the role of government.

Cooperation with other Government Agencies: USFS, Mono County, WCWD, FAA, DWP,etc.

Overhaul and correctly manage our relationship with MMSA:

Accountability and Transparency:



The Town of Mammoth Lakes is currently an incorporated “General Law” city. In order to make more effective and accountable its leadership roles, and to reconfigure  the relationship of Town Council with the Town Manager and his/her staff, the Town will need to undergo a legal restructuring.

The attachment “Charter Cities: A Quick Summary for the Press and Researchers“ from the California League of Cities gives a good breakdown of a Charter City vs a common Law city. In summary, a Charter city gives complete authority to the city government and exemplifies the city of state law. Cities are General Law by default. 22% of all California cities are Charter Cities. The Charter City provision is part of the State constitution and is based on the principle that a city rather than the state is in the best position to know what it needs. The “Home rule” allows for Charter cities to control their government by way of a charter.

Mammoth Lakes needs to adopt a charter for governing purposes. This will allow for the following to be changed;

  • Create Payment & Term Limits for Town Council Members to improve accountability.
  • Training to improve TOML to service orientation. TOML employees should take pride in serving the citizens of Mammoth Lakes and doing what they can to facilitate the desires and goals of the community.
  • Create delivery systems which focus on Council that will work effectively with NGO to make sure there if follow through.
  • Delivery system institutionalizes accountability
  • Electing a Mayor
  • NGO partnerships & oversight: support of developing MLR, MLT, MLH
  • Cooperation with other govt. agencies (USFS, County, College, FAA, MCSD, etc.).
  • Accountability & transparency


CA Government Code addressing how to get to an elected Mayor

Council districts

California League of Cities

For explanations & general info on CA cities governance, close to normal language

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