In the new year, Town of Mammoth officials continue to negotiate with Mammoth Lakes Land Acquisition over the $42 million court judgment owed by the Town. The uncertainty over Town government money continues.
Financial advisor Marianna Marysheva-Martinez told Sierra Wave that the Town did get a response from MLLA to its last proposal on December 14th. Since then, Martinez said, the Town has scheduled a special closed session for January 10th to review the response and to draft the Town’s own counter proposal. Martinez said this will be the first time all five council members will be available to meet.
Earlier, Martinez had explained the process the Town continues to go through. She said they face three basic options. One, the settlement discussions now going on. Two, if talks fail the two sides will go to mediation. Three, the final step would be bankruptcy. Martinez made it clear that before the Town would ever consider bankruptcy, officials would have to fully exhaust other options which include current attempts to arrive at an agreement.
Martinez also explained that the Town’s payment of the debt could be handled through what’s called a judgment bond. The Town would borrow the money to pay MLLA. While Town officials had hoped to reach an outline of settlement by the end of last year, they still hope they can reach an agreed on plan with MLLA. Martinez said that talks are “worth continuing as long as both sides are making progress regarding the amount that will be paid and that’s still happening,” she said.
In other words, the Town and MLLA are apparently both making compromises toward an agreed upon payback amount and terms. It is still unknown when details will go public for discussion and input by citizens. Town Manager Dave Wilbrecht had suggested that any citizen with a definite view on the MLLA issue should talk to members of the Town Council.