Focus on Mammoth Airport, with a former employee’s complaint and an FAA investigation, grew this week to include public questions about the hiring of a Town Councilman’s future relative at the airport.
Former Mammoth Airport employee Doug Kriese pointed an accusing finger at Airport Manager Bill Manning for what he said was failure to keep a fire fighting vehicle full of foam used to put out aircraft fires. The FAA confirmed they are investigating. Manager Manning declined to comment on an ongoing investigation.
Yesterday, Manning also declined to comment on the public perception that cronyism is at work in his hiring of Mammoth Town Councilman John Eastman’s future son-in-law. Manning did say the Interim Town Manager will handle comments on the subject.
Manager Marianna Marysheva-Martinez said she was not aware of any specifics on the hiring of Eastman’s future son-in-law, Will Bauman. She did say that part of her assignment is “to assure that rules and procedures and transparency exist in personnel procedures.” She said that she has already had discussions with Town Staff on “everything from how we advertise jobs to accepting applications, reviewing and interviewing and how we make selections.” Marysheva-Martinez said she would follow up on details for the job in question and how many were interviewed.
John Eastman said that Mammoth being a small town, there are many relationships. He said that he and Bill Manning are friends and have hiked together for some 10 years. “That’s how I heard about the job opening,” said Eastman. “I told Bill that a young man dating my daughter in San Diego would love to move to Mammoth. Bill said if he wants to apply, have him do so.”
Eastman said Bauman did apply, went through the application process and was chosen first out of six or eight who had applied. Eastman said a four-member interview panel selected Bauman at the end of the process. “Assuming he passes background checks, he will be offered the job,” said Eastman. The Councilman said he went out of his way to assure Manning it was entirely up to him. “It’s a small town. These things just happen,” said Eastman.