Town Manager on the rocks?


Tom Cage

The Town of Mammoth Lakes has a history of come and go town managers. Usually reliable sources say it’s about to happen again. The public view of potential change depends on a citizen’s take on town government operations. Sources say the Town Council is considering ending their contract with Town Manager Marianna Marysheva-Martinez and hiring long-time, local businessman Tom Cage.

When Sierra Wave Media asked Cage about this report, he said, “I can’t comment.” Cage has lived in Mammoth for 37 years, owns Kittredge Sports and the Chevron and has served on the Water Board for ten plus years. He has also participated in a number of citizen groups analyzing local government.

When he was asked about the report, Mayor Rick Wood responded, “I have heard of rumors, but have heard none directly. I have received 2 letters from constituents who apparently have heard rumors and have declared the rumors to be fact. The facts are,” said Wood, “that the Town Manager’s performance and contract terms have been evaluated at her request over several months by the Town Council. Personnel matters, including this one, are to be held in closed session,” he said. The Mayor also said, “The Town Council has not voted on any issue related to the Town Manager. I will expect at least one more meeting to discuss. Once the Council votes, that action will be reported out of closed session. Until then, there is no action taken.”

While he did not confirm the dismissal of Martinez and the hiring of Cage, the Mayor did say he expects “one more meeting to discuss.”  Earlier, Martinez had said she believed the Council had been discussing extension of her contract in closed sessions.  She said there are a lot of challenges to keep her working in Mammoth.  Martinez had just returned from a month-long vacation.

Town sources say the departure of topnotch employees may have led the Council to consider different management. The last exodus from Public Works of Director Ray Jarvis left several jobs unfilled. Jarvis had taken on management of Public Works, the Airport and Transportation. Town Manager Martinez had issued a press release in July to say that Jarvis and Assistant Building Official Johnny Goetz were leaving for better job opportunities. The press release does say that the developments of the past five years and an organization that is “over-stretched and overcharged has led employees to be more receptive to outside opportunities.”  The Council plans another special meeting Friday.


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25 Responses to Town Manager on the rocks?

  1. Help Us ! August 30, 2013 at 1:30 pm #

    Town of ML Residence, NOW more than ever, we need to pull together and stop the Insanity!
    We need to take the Greed out and replace it with some Honest business practices.

  2. JR August 30, 2013 at 11:16 am #

    And I can’t help wondering why the push , the urgency …. Almost as if there is some underlying agenda… I’m sure that it will all come out with this MRF issue. It will be interesting to see who profits, while the Town pays. Hopefully no one on the Council will, that has the potential to be very bad for them, and illegal, for the whole Council! Maybe one of their close friends? I truly hope that in their meeting tonight they look at each other and understand that one or several have the potential of creating a huge mess for their fellow Council members.. Is this a friend or foe.?.?

    They are PUBLIC Officials people! They work for YOU! Call them, demand answers, often times Officials forget this and run with their own agendas.. Instead of what’s in the Public interest.

    Hold them to their oath!!

    • Where's the recall paper to sign? August 30, 2013 at 12:22 pm #

      So, are you going to start a recall, JR?

      • JR August 30, 2013 at 4:37 pm #


        Sadly no, to little to late, with the decision most likely happening tonight. With the apathetic interest in the last election, we’ll have to see what happens next year. This is truly an unfortunate situation for a great Town.


    • BS August 30, 2013 at 3:34 pm #

      Don’t forget about the urgency to purchase Sam’s Woodsite. Seems that’s another urgent matter according to town council.

      Hey, doesn’t a certain tc member broker that piece of property? Things that make you go hmm.

      • skijohn August 31, 2013 at 1:33 pm #

        He’s have to recuse himself from the vote, obviously. We do need an events site and we have the measure money to pay for it. I’d hate to see Sam’s Woodsite turned into condos.

  3. JR August 30, 2013 at 10:38 am #

    Wow, according to the adjenda this is really going to happen, are there three Council members that are willing to stand their ground on repairing the past damage done first? How about working towards getting a fully staffed and functional Police Department? Rebuilding the Public Works, so your roads can get plowed/repaired? How about the public pool and ice rink? There is still a lot of work to do before jumping into the next “grand adventure”. How about fulfilling your past obligations first BEFORE jumping into another quagmire, now there is a novel thought.

    YOU! The Council created this situation, you directed the Town Manager to clean up this mess. I’m certain she created some enemies in the process, no dought some of the very ones that are whispering in your ear now. But she has proven herself to be tough and do YOUR! dirty work. Now she is asking YOU! to be responsible and patient, the very same thing she had to do to the Town structure, but now YOU! dont like being subject to the same standard as everyone else, so lets FIRE her and shop for a parent that will give us the ice cream when we want it!!!!

    I suggest everyone that can attend tonights meeting, do so, and MAKE the Council tell you what they did, and why, to your face!!

  4. MJA August 30, 2013 at 9:03 am #

    Doesn’t town government have to adhere to strict hiring practices, such as public notice of job openings and such? =

    • Benett Kessler August 30, 2013 at 11:30 am #

      They may have a right to hire a manager in whatever way they choose. Then, they go by the contract.

      • Councilman wannabe August 30, 2013 at 12:20 pm #

        I want to be a town councilman.
        Think of the power you have.
        You can hire and fire anybody you want – no questions asked.
        Voter apathy is so bad today, nobody wants to take the time to recall you.
        Why in Mammoth, you don’t even have to kiss any babies to get elected. Like two of them, Bacon and Raimondo, you get the job without anybody running against you.
        I want to be a town councilman.

  5. Flat Earth Society August 29, 2013 at 8:45 pm #

    The fair is in Bishop, the circus is in Mammoth.
    The good old boys are at it again…

  6. Here we go... August 29, 2013 at 8:12 pm #

    The agenda has finally been posted for Friday at 5.

    Pursuant to Government Code Section 54954.5(e), the Council will hold a conference to consider discipline/dismissal/release of a public employee.

    Pursuant to Government Code Section 54957, the Council will hold a conference to consider
    appointment of a public employee: Town Manager.”

    If they make an appointment tomorrow, they’ve clearly violated the Brown Act. Unless after “deciding” during this meeting to fire MMM, they then spontaneously call someone and successfully recruit them during the meeting. After all, how could anyone even indicate interest without having talked to the Council *before* the meeting – and when was that conversation agendized?

    It doesn’t take a lawyer to figure this out – but the Town is paying for one who is clearly not advising them, or in their arrogance it they are ignoring it and counting on an ignorant constituency. I smell another lawsuit coming soon.

  7. Cindy August 29, 2013 at 10:48 am #

    Hire experienced proven people who have vision. Not friends. This town is collapsing in on it self from the nepotism. We need proven leadership who will not cowtow to ANYONE keep it professional.

    • Nice work if you can get it August 29, 2013 at 1:20 pm #

      Do the residents of the town of Mammoth Lakes and the County of Mono have any idea how often those appointed to the” head honcho in charge” move around?

      The average is 2 years and they move on. Unfortunately for we constituents who voted for the councilmen and supervisors who appointed the head honchos (except for Mammoth where two of the power-brokers did not have to even run against anyone) they get to witness a gradual decline in staff talent and consequently public services while the hefty salaries and perks of the administrators continue.

      I want to be a town or county manager.

    • But she doesn't know the territory August 29, 2013 at 6:38 pm #

      We need “proven leadership who will not cowtow to anyone…” AND who knows the complete details of that community, what makes it tick, and cares enough about that community to live in that community full time.
      I thought EVERYBODY understood that.

    • Cause and effect August 30, 2013 at 6:26 am #

      Wilbrect didn’t cowtow to anyone, and what did THAT get him?
      They fired his a**.

  8. Anita August 29, 2013 at 7:23 am #

    I genuinely like Tom Cage. And he’s a great citizen and business owner. However–I have enormous respect for the demands of the job of Town Manager. I’ve had the opportunity to see its challenges up close. I can understand how it might be easier for members of the Council to relate to and communicate with a local business owner. And I really, truly, think that the need for an experienced, tested, Town Manager has almost never been greater.

    • Wake UP! August 29, 2013 at 8:19 am #

      Right on. I hope this whole rumor mill thing is just that.
      Any way I too have much respect for Tom. I just do not want him as Town Manager. This is not a part time job. He has too much business here in town and I doubt he would relinquish day to day control or operations. That would mean no phone calls or emails during Manager job hours which as of late are long. Then there is the whole litany of things that a city manager must know how to deal with that I would guess that he does not know. This is not something that you can pick up overnight nor in a few weeks. We do not need another person that feels it is a free for all and there are no rules and laws that the town must follow.


      By the way if Triple M is or has not planned on being our Town manager for the long Haul then she lied to my face and I have absolutely no respect for her.

      • Tim August 30, 2013 at 12:52 pm #

        One of the big issues that would eventually come up, due to Tom Cage’s business relationships, is conflict of interest rules. It would be tough, especially in a town the size of Mammoth Lakes, to always be impartial or excuse yourself from decisions that may affect local businesses. At that point, you might as well not have a manager….

        • BS August 30, 2013 at 3:36 pm #

          Can you say TBID conflict?

  9. Turtleneck August 28, 2013 at 11:18 pm #

    And, just when I thought there was no end to the ridiculousness…..this?!? Really, I mean, really???? I have nothing against Tom, but being a Town Manager is a professional job, that needs to be handled by a qualified professional. Get rid of MMM by all means, but please hire someone who actually knows how to do the job, to do the job.

  10. Nick Powder August 28, 2013 at 10:32 pm #

    Wonderful, another popularity contest….!!…. this guy is a hack….He has never been outside of ML….

  11. irony August 28, 2013 at 10:28 pm #

    Cage = another insane council decision for Mammoth.

    Because he has so much education?
    Because he has so much experience?
    Because he has such a stellar record of attendance at the Water Dept?
    Because he has a great reputation with his employees?
    Because he could never be in Rusty’s pocket?


    • Fact Checker August 29, 2013 at 8:39 am #

      Did anyone else happen to catch the public notices in the paper last week?
      It seems that one of Cages businesses is over $230,000 in arrears.

  12. Wake UP! August 28, 2013 at 9:12 pm #

    what the heck is going on here.
    If I could leave this frikin ridiculous town I would in a second.


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