Sources close to the situation say that the Mammoth Town Manager has asked all employee groups and outside vendors to take a 10% cut in the face of the severe Town budget problems for next fiscal year when an at least $2.5 million shortfall has been predicted.
Town sources say that employees have problems with a cut because of concerns over the credibility of the Town Council and a lack of hard budget numbers. Employees have also expressed concerns about the $40 million lawsuit debt that hangs over the Town. Some reported a trust issue with the Town Council, who, sources said, promised no lay-offs in the past if employees would agree to concessions but then proceeded with lay-offs anyway.
When asked about reports of a 10% cut for all workers, Town Manager Martinez said, “The only thing I can tell you is that employee negotiations are a matter of closed session discussions with the Town Council.” Martinez said she could not share closed session directions from the Town Council nor discussions with employee unions.
As for outside groups or vendors, Martinez said, “We have a shortfall. Whether there will be across the board cuts is a big if.” She did say that the difference between revenues and the budget is 13%. Manager Martinez said it’s a policy decision whether a 13% cut is appropriate or not. She did say from a professional, management standpoint she does not believe in across the board cuts. On the other hand, Martinez said this is a concept of fairness which she does support.
Last week, the Town issued a press release on preliminary budget figures for next fiscal year which included a $2.5 million shortfall. That doesn’t include a payment on the $40 million lawsuit debt. Martinez said there is no exact time frame on settlement of how payments will be made. She said the next meeting between the Town and Mammoth Lakes Land Acquisition is scheduled for next week. The manager said that the Town’s financial information will be presented at that meeting. She said once MLLA understands the Town’s finances, the two sides will actually negotiate payment.