Town of Mammoth and MLLA settle

mammothtownoffices

Seven weeks after the Town of Mammoth Lakes filed for bankruptcy protection, the Town and its major creditor, Mammoth Lakes Land Acquisition, have reached a tentative agreement to settle the $43 million court judgment.

For more than a year, officials from the Town and MLLA have talked, then quit talking and finally were ordered to mediate by a US Bankruptcy Court judge. Assistant Town Manager Marianna Marysheva-Martinez emailed the news of settlement to media and a long list of interested people just after 7pm Tuesday night. Martinez said that “The Town will not be able to provide further comment regarding the settlement” beyond information in the press release.

That release says that the Town and MLLA have reached a “tentative agreement on a settlement of the $43 million court judgment held by MLLA against the Town.” The release says Terrence Ballas is also a party to the settlement. He is the developer holding commercial development rights under the Town’s 1997 Airport Development Agreement and associated leases. The press release says the settlement will address all development agreement contract breaches which were the subject of the original lawsuit that led to a $30 million judgment that expanded to $43 million over several years.

The Town and MLLA have talked about a settlement, guided by US Bankruptcy Judge Elizabeth Perris, since August 6th. The press release says the two sides reached an agreement on the amount and terms and “signed a term sheet containing the settlement’s key points. The settlement agreement,” says the release, “including any and all terms, will remain confidential until it is fully documented and executed.”

During the process of documenting and approving the settlement, all discovery and litigation among the parties will be put on hold. Some key bankruptcy court deadlines will remain including a deadline to file objections to the Town’s eligibility for bankruptcy protection by entities not party to the settlement.

Officials say the Town will provide additional information to the public as soon as the settlement documentation is finalized and filed for court approval. This is expected, officials say, within weeks. Then the Town will hold public meetings to discuss how to finance the settlement.

We have emailed a question to Assistant Town Manager Martinez about whether the Town will still pursue bankruptcy protection. We await her response.

TOWN AND MLLA ANNOUNCE SETTLEMENT (Press Release)

Mammoth Lakes, California, August 21, 2012 — The Town of Mammoth Lakes and Mammoth Lakes Land Acquisition LLC (MLLA) jointly announced today that, as a result of a U.S. bankruptcy court-established mediation, they have reached a tentative agreement on a settlement of the $43 million court judgment held by MLLA against the Town. Also a party to the settlement is Terrence Ballas, the developer holding commercial development rights under the Town’s 1997 Airport Development Agreement and associated leases. The Airport commercial development has been put on hold since legal issues with MLLA emerged over the hotel/residential portion, and the Developer has since asserted various contract breaches by the Town, which the settlement will address.

The parties, guided by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Elizabeth Perris, a talented and trustworthy mediator, have worked diligently since August 6, 2012, to reach an agreement on the amount and terms, and signed a term sheet containing the settlement’s key points. The settlement agreement, including any and all terms, will remain confidential until it is fully documented and executed.

While steps are taken to document and seek approval of the settlement, all discovery and litigation among the parties will be put on hold. At the same time, some key deadlines established by the U.S. bankruptcy court will remain, including a deadline to file objections to the Town’s eligibility by entities not party to the settlement.

The Town will provide additional information to the public as soon as the settlement documentation is finalized and filed for court approval, which is expected within weeks. At that time, public meetings will commence to discuss how to finance the settlement.

The Town, MLLA and Terrence Ballas sincerely thank U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Elizabeth Perris, who served as the mediator and tirelessly worked with the parties around the clock to reach the settlement.

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salblaster
salblaster
9 years ago

reality bites, i asume your referring to my “say it aint so comment”. i was referring to the entertainment value to myself of the whole bankruptcy debacle that now seems to be over. i fully believe mlla would get paid and paid well, but that still remains to be seen… Read more »

salblaster
salblaster
9 years ago

say it aint so. a settlement, really. this drama was better than who shot J.R. now the ugly reality of paying the bill. i’m guessing 60 million over 20 years. on the bright side winters comin up fast and when the snow gets epic deep i’ll be coming up and… Read more »

Reality bites again
Reality bites again
9 years ago
Reply to  salblaster

Salblaster Did you really think that MLLA would be wiped out! Really is that what you were thinking? If that were your thoughts on reality , then it is your type of thinking that got us in this mess in the first place. These things have a price face the… Read more »

Sally
Sally
9 years ago

Why don’t you people who think you have all the answers run for office, get elected, work 40 hours a week trying to solve this mess – all for $300 a month, while being bashed by everyone in town over every decision they make?

honesty is best policy
honesty is best policy
9 years ago
Reply to  Sally

Maybe those people are too honest, Sally.
Side deals and development deals abound in this town and everybody knows it.
Look for more and more closed meetings.

SierraFan
SierraFan
9 years ago
Reply to  Sally

Well done Sally! It’s because it’s much easier to second guess others rather than put their own A.. on the line like back seat drivers. I love this town and the folks in it for the passion they have.

Fool me once!
Fool me once!
9 years ago
Reply to  SierraFan

Who’s south side of a northbound mule is on the line beside the employee’s that have or will lose their jobs over this settlement? Passion would be for the town council to give up all pay and benefits as part of the budget cuts they propose. I’d love to see… Read more »

Dingo
Dingo
9 years ago

This all just stinks to high heaven!

Dollars and Sense
Dollars and Sense
9 years ago

What can you say? Gregory gets exactly what he demands and our elected officials must suck up to him in a town that depends on the tourist dollar. Sorry, Warner. That’s a fact, Jack. But hey, things could me worse. We could all be living in Bridgeport where the tourist… Read more »

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
9 years ago

Why do you hate the people of Bridgeport so much?

Trouble
Trouble
9 years ago
Reply to  Ken Warner

dollar and sense- Rusty should be run out of town before he sells Mammoth out again. Mark my words, he will sell out Mammoth again. What % of the people of Mammoth and June Lake that have been laid off this year are due to Rusty?

just one
just one
9 years ago

And all of us here in Bridgeport roll merrily along, and we like it that way.

Taxpayer
Taxpayer
9 years ago
Reply to  just one

And speaking of Bridgeport … The population density of northern Mono County from Bridgeport to Nevada is 1,775, most of which don’t believe they should be paying any taxes. The population of Mammoth Lakes only (which is clearly the economic engine of the entire county) is approaching 8,000 and growing.… Read more »

Big AL
Big AL
9 years ago
Reply to  Taxpayer

Taxpayer .. really? … The population density of northern Mono County from Bridgeport to Nevada is 1,775, most of which don’t believe they should be paying any taxes. I doubt most of them believe that, I believe the number is no greater that can be said for any other area,… Read more »

just one
just one
9 years ago

Funny, i drove through Bridgeport and all of the burger joints, and gas stations and heck the streets were crammed full on non-existant tourist. Imagine that

The inevitable
The inevitable
9 years ago
Reply to  just one

You’re not kidding anyone just one. EVERYONE is having a good summer. Fill us in on the situation after Labor Day. I’m sorry to say Bridgeport as been a huge drain on the County and the taxpayer. It is ludicrous to think it should be the County seat … (because… Read more »

Ed Cesnalis
Ed Cesnalis
9 years ago
Reply to  The inevitable

Aurora was the county seat before Bridgeport.

just one
just one
9 years ago
Reply to  The inevitable

Absolutely in the Winter Bridgeport is just a sleepy little town. No one in Bridgeport EVER said they wanted to be Mammoth. We like the break. We don’t mind that Mammoth has the skiiers. You folks keep comparing Bridgeport to Mammoth and it is like apples to oranges. We do… Read more »

A much needed change
A much needed change
9 years ago
Reply to  just one

Bridgeport is a nice little town. But must adapt like the rest of the country. The Bridgeport Court House could be added to Bodie Historical Park as a State Memorial building and/or act as a satellite to serve the smaller communites in the north county. The county seat should obviously… Read more »

Wayne Deja
Wayne Deja
9 years ago
Reply to  just one

just one….heading your way in a couple weeks for a 4 day fishing trip…one night at Swauger Creek….two nights at Robinson Creek…..and a day to Bodie and the last night at Buckeye Creek…BRIDGEPORT ROCKS !!!!!!!!.I’ve been going there for camping and fishing and hunting since 1972….Hope the little town never… Read more »

Taxpayer
Taxpayer
9 years ago
Reply to  just one

No one is insulting Bridgeport nor those that choose to live there, “just one”. But in any capitalistic system, it is imperative that everyone pulls his own weight. I don’t think any community today has the luxury of depending on its government for its survival. As times get tougher and… Read more »

Logistics
Logistics
9 years ago
Reply to  just one

No, just one, Bridgeport is not an incorporated town. Mono County has but one incorporated city. Your comparison of Bridgeport to Las Vegas analogy is a bit shy on logic. Besides, believe it or not most of the citizens of Mono County live nowhere near Bridgeport.

sierragrl
sierragrl
9 years ago

I truly believe Terry Ballas and Bill Manning concocted the whole thing…not meaning from the beginning, but when they saw it going south, put the wheels in motion for a lawsuit…although who really believed they would have EVER built condos at the airport…money loser! Ballas and chums got a bail… Read more »

MJA
MJA
9 years ago

Ballas takes the town and people of Mammoth for everything in a long fought battle. Details are sketchy but rumor has it the major has stepped down, the town council has been imprisoned in the tower, The village is in shambles, people are feeding OUR bears, and Ballas has made… Read more »

enoughalready
enoughalready
9 years ago

What was the amount they settled on? Did I miss that part?

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
9 years ago
Reply to  enoughalready

The amount and terms remain confidential, as the story says, until the documents are completed.
Benett

Ed Cesnalis
Ed Cesnalis
9 years ago

The deal remains secret from the public until it is filed with the court and then the public can be included in discussions on how the public will pay for it? The town council following legal advice and working in secret has not served the town well in the past.… Read more »

tom
tom
9 years ago

Bad news is right! Very disappointed, I and many others had higher hopes for this council to right the ship, curious of what the vote was, don’t tell me another 5-0 victory lap! As MotherNature said these guys just passed a budget weeks ago that said we were broke and… Read more »

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
9 years ago
Reply to  tom

Tom, I will only point out as a matter of fact that the Bankruptcy Court Judge ordered the two sides to mediate for a settlement.
BK

Fool me once!
Fool me once!
9 years ago
Reply to  Benett Kessler

“Two sides”? Everybody in town knows this was a “ménage à trois”

Questions
Questions
9 years ago
Reply to  tom

Tom Benett is correct as stated below. Chapter 9 BK is a different animal. The parties must agree on terms and amounts essentially re-negotiate. That is why the town made a plan for handling things prior to BK. Everyone knows the town is not really insolvent as many town expenditures… Read more »

Fool me once!
Fool me once!
9 years ago

Unbelievable,this is all caused by the desire to fly unprofitable airlines routes into Mammoth by the few but powerful. MLLA subpoenas MMSA financials, miraculously the issues get settled post haste with monies that we didn’t have when the budget was passed and all the cuts were mandated. Apparently they’ve come… Read more »

SierraFan
SierraFan
9 years ago
Reply to  Fool me once!

Fool me once, Do you read the words you write? This town exists because of business interests, wealth, etc. you speak so negatively of. The politicians here are in office because we vote for them yet you complain. Yes, there are plenty of questionable decisions that have brought us to… Read more »

Over a barrel.
Over a barrel.
9 years ago
Reply to  SierraFan

The town exists because of The Mountain. Period. The Mountain has everybody over a barrel. All Gregory has to say is, “Okay (expletive deleted), I’m shutting down The Mountain.” (nice work if you can get it) And if that were to happen – Presto! The Town will be another Bridgeport.… Read more »

SierraFan
SierraFan
9 years ago
Reply to  Over a barrel.

Over a barrell,

This would never happen unless the ski industry went south and if it did you would have The Vail company or another and operate Mammoth.

Fool me once!
Fool me once!
9 years ago
Reply to  SierraFan

SierraFan, I’m not interested in playing the what if game with you Sierrafan, I’m concerned with results. The current town council has failed the towns people miserably. They’ve done exactly like they’ve been told, including pissing our money into the wind over a poorly executed airport/bankruptcy legal battles. They also… Read more »

SierraFan
SierraFan
9 years ago
Reply to  Fool me once!

Fool me once, We’re not too far aft from what we believe! All I’m trying to get across is that we vote for our leaders as best we can, trust in them and their decisions (some with our voice and some with out). Would I love to be involved or… Read more »

Fool me once!
Fool me once!
9 years ago
Reply to  SierraFan

Touche’

Big AL
Big AL
9 years ago
Reply to  SierraFan

Very good post Sierra fan, a good reminder, thank you.

Big AL
Big AL
9 years ago
Reply to  Fool me once!

Good point Fool me.

Jeff
Jeff
9 years ago

Town of Mammoth Lakes – a bunch of failed workers. I hope you all go hide under a rock!

Sour Grapes
Sour Grapes
9 years ago
Reply to  Jeff

Jeff,
Do you by chance live in Bridgeport?

Burning question
Burning question
9 years ago
Reply to  Jeff

Why do you hate the town of Mammoth Lakes, Jeff?

Jeff B.
Jeff B.
9 years ago

I just can’t imagine how this will be good for taxpayers or town services.

MotherNature
MotherNature
9 years ago

Bad news.. big winners are the over paid attorneys and staff who led us down the primrose path to loosing millions yet another time. Bet they don’t show up late to collect their paychecks and bloated pensions… You have to be kidding me. These morons (town council) spend tens of… Read more »

Questions
Questions
9 years ago
Reply to  MotherNature

of course this whole thing stinks of corruption. Maybe we can stop paying these high priced legal dream team of Bankruptcy fools.

upthecreek
upthecreek
9 years ago
Reply to  MotherNature

it’s not nice to fool Mother nature,,SPOT ON

recuse means nothing
recuse means nothing
9 years ago
Reply to  MotherNature

I suppose there are some elected officials who aren’t developers and are actually putting the interest of the townsfolk first … but when the going gets rough – the corrupt turn professional. Let the elected officials know how you feel. Show up at the meetings (that aren’t behind closed doors)… Read more »

Stopping corruption
Stopping corruption
9 years ago

Since there are no laws prohibiting monies, favors, etc given to elected officials, all one has to do is declare: “I am divesting … blah, blah, blah then turn around and push through the project benefitting those he “divested” from. Come on folks, use your imagination. Who would ever know.… Read more »

upthecreek
upthecreek
9 years ago

should have thrown them out years ago.

Questions
Questions
9 years ago
Reply to  MotherNature

How do you know it is a bad decision? What we should keep spending millions on fighting this. Town lost the trial, the town lost the appeal , The CA supreme court would not even hear the case. We lost face it. Maybe those high priced lawyers the town hired… Read more »

Questions
Questions
9 years ago

That really says a lot. Nothing!
Why even report.
Don’t we townspeople get a say in the matter. (public comment)

Observer
Observer
9 years ago

Excellent news!

Trouble
Trouble
9 years ago

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the people had the right to know what their public officials just agreed to do for them. Chicken ….!

upthecreek
upthecreek
9 years ago
Reply to  Trouble

since when do the sheeple have a voice? WAKE UP AMERICA

GGW