Town braces for decision on MLLA writ


Attorneys for MLLA and Town of Mammoth Lakes will hear Judge Randall on the MLLA writ Friday, March 23rd.

When the Town of Mammoth Lakes and Mammoth Lakes Land Acquisition go back to court on Friday, Judge Randall will decide if he will issue a writ on behalf of MLLA or not.  If the Judge does order in favor of MLLA, that will mean Mammoth has a short time frame for payment of the $42 million lawsuit debt owed to MLLA.

When asked about the repercussions of that pending writ, Town Financial Advisor Marianna Marysheva-Martinez said that if the writ is granted it becomes a court order which would give the Town until the end of this fiscal year in June to pay off the debt. That’s what MLLA requested of the court.  However, there is another option.

Martinez said that as a municipality, the Town would also have the option to come up with a payment plan over the next ten years at 7% interest.  Martinez said a new law that went into effect in January allows cities not able to pay judgments to apply for a ten-year payment schedule. Can Mammoth even make that kind of payment?  Martinez said, “Our position is, no.”

At the same time MLLA has pressed for this court action, the Town of Mammoth has urged mediation between the two parties.  Asked for the latest on that, Martinez said that she understands from attorneys hired by the Town that MLLA has expressed interest in mediation but has not followed the required format to start the process.  Martinez added that the new law this year says that municipalities must try to conduct mediation in cases like Mammoth’s.

The Town continues to try to mediate with MLLA and with all other Town creditors.  In addition to the payment of the $42 million, the Town now faces a $2.2 million budget shortfall.  Martinez said she believes the Town is getting responses from other Town creditors to mediate.

Reports had also indicated that Town government would ask employee groups and others to take a 10% pay cut in view of all the financial difficulties.  When asked about that, Martinez said that officials have told employee unions about the financial crunch.  Martinez said, “I told them that the $2.2 million shortfall is 10 to 15% of our $16 million budget.”  Martinez said employees reminded the Town that their wage contracts are closed, but Martinez also said that without employees’ help, it will be hard to balance the budget.

Officials say they need to negotiate with workers as soon as possible.  Martinez said she has begun to set up meetings to spell out the realities of why there is a shortfall.  These realities include a much reduced level of transient occupancy tax.

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4 Responses to Town braces for decision on MLLA writ

  1. wayback March 20, 2012 at 8:13 am #

    From 2008 until today the economy has been on a downward spiral. Why is it the employees fault MMM? Since this started has anyone asked how much the employee associations have given up so the Town could be whole? Why is there a shortfall again and again. Sounds like the Finace Department has some old Koehn shell games being run by the Heir Apparent. While the Town is headed in this precarious direction they hire MMM-200,000.00 per year, New TM-200,000.00per year, ITM-100,000.00+per year, no cuts to the Council’s fully unfunded Benefit Package ? per year. It shows how out of touch MMM really is when she says the employees need to help us out of this jam. I suggest you ask the people who got us into this jam in the first place – John Eastman, Rick Woods, Charlie Long, Kirk Stapp, Peter Tracy. These are the people who should be ponying up some cash because of their arrogance or ignorance. My goodness two Lawyers in the mix and we still thought we didn’t need to follow the law? On the other hand if they pulled the wool over the voters eyes and were reelected time and time again, who is really at fault?

  2. longtimemllocal March 19, 2012 at 7:04 pm #

    Why does MMM always go for the employees? She never talks about how much money the Town spends on Housing, Tourism, Transit, smurf logos, ice rinks, or empty plane seats. Why is the almighty dollar more important than jobs of our fellow locals. I bet if they cut her salary by 10 to 15%, took her town car,town condo and town credit card away she would be singing a different song. I don’t agree with upthecreek very often, but I do agree if the wastefull spending is’nt stopped, Mammoth will never recover.bankruptcy or not!
    Seems like the people don’t have a say on what town services are important to them. MMM tells us what we need and thats it, PLEASE FELLOW LOCALS ASK QUESTIONS AND DEMAND ANSWERS. NO MORE CLOSED DOORS!

    • upthecreek March 19, 2012 at 10:32 pm #

      MMM is there AND REMAINS there for one reason only.. and soon after all the dirty work is done. She will fade into smurfsville never to be heard from again….

      chop chop chop…. cut cut cut.


  3. upthecreek March 19, 2012 at 4:35 pm #

    Tic Tic Tic……Bankruptcy is near and the ONLY option



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