When they first announced their restructuring plan to help pay off the MLLA judgment debt, Mammoth Town officials said the plan included the elimination of 13 employees or positions with seven of those in the police department to take place by January 1. Apparently recognizing their signed MOU with police, officials now say they will recommend the delay of position elimination of police until July 1, 2013.
Assistant Town Manager Marianna Marysheva-Martinez said, “The delay will leave the Town’s finances stretched, with barely enough cash to make the first payment to MLLA. However, this additional time is necessary to allow for additional discussions with the Police Officers Association (POA), whose contract calls for no vacancies from the staffing approved in the beginning of each fiscal year.” The police MOU guarantees 17 officers for this fiscal year.
Martinez said that the additional time will “also be necessary to fully evaluate the implementation of police reserve and volunteer programs, and/or alternate methods of delivering public safety services.” Martinez said there will be a recommendation to the Town Council at the Oct 18 meeting.
Meanwhile, the issue of reserves or volunteers circles in controversy with Police Lieutenant John Mair and others strongly stating that reserves and volunteers are not an option to replace regular officers. This, because of the small population pool here, the extensive training required and the supervision demanded by police themselves.
Mono Sheriff Rick Scholl made it clear that the Town can not count on his officers to fill in for Mammoth’s shortfall of police protection. He is down three patrol officers and his deputies go off duty in the late night hours. The Sheriff clarified his belief. He said, “Our deputies currently go off duty at midnight and are available to be called out from their home. The CHP,” he said, “does field a two officer unit after 10 pm, however that unit is responsible from Tom’s Place to Topaz Lake so can be over an hour response time to back-up Mammoth Police.”