Town of Mammoth settles with MLLA for a principal of $29.5 million

After Measure U Committee concerns and lots of public comment, the Council voted unanimously for a loan from Measure U.

UPDATED POST FROM MAMMOTH LAKES MAYOR MATTHEW LEHMAN:

Dear Citizens of Mammoth Lakes and all interested constituents,

Attached you will find a press release announcing a settlement between the Town of Mammoth Lakes and MLLA.   I’m confident that this settlement will bring about a spectrum of emotions ranging from frustration and anger to satisfaction and relief.

The State mandated mediation and Federal bankruptcy processes which started earlier in 2012 have left many of you in the dark and undoubtedly wondering what the future holds for us all.   The inability for the Town Council to legally communicate with the public has been trying for everyone and it is my hope that this press release will begin to answer questions without breaching the confines of mediation.

On September 27, 2012, during its regularly scheduled meeting, the Town Council will open a dialogue with the community regarding the settlement and a restructuring plan for the Town of Mammoth Lakes.  The meeting will be held in the Town Council chambers (Suite Z) at 6:00pm.  The Town will publish all of the relevant settlement documents on the Town’s website in advance of the meeting, and have hard copies available for discussion.  Present at the meeting and available for questions will be the Town’s court-appointed mediator and U.S. Bankruptcy Judge, Elizabeth Perris, as well as legal counsel, including Ken Klee and Michael Tuchin of Klee, Tuchin, Bogdanoff and Stern, who are among the highest ranking and most respected in the bankruptcy field.If you have questions prior to the meeting, please send them to mllasettlement@ci.mammoth-lakes.ca.us, or call (760) 934-8989, extension 223. Town staff will compile all questions and answers into a report available at the September 27, 2012 meeting, and later post information on the Town’s website.

Thank you all for your patience during these very challenging times.

Respectfully,

Matthew Lehman

Mayor – Town of Mammoth Lakes

 

TOWN AND MLLA ANNOUNCE TERMS OF THE SETTLEMENT  (Press Release)

Mammoth Lakes, California, September 21, 2012 – Following up on their announcement of the signing of a term sheet on August 21, 2012, the Town of Mammoth Lakes and Mammoth Lakes Land Acquisition LLC (MLLA) jointly announced today the settlement’s specific terms, executed by parties on September 20, 2012. Also parties to the settlement are the Airport Developer, Terrence Ballas and his related development entities (“Ballas entities”).

The settlement amount is $29.5 million, substantially less than the $43 million judgment held by MLLA against the Town. Since the Town does not currently have available funds to pay the full $29.5 million to MLLA right away, the settlement gives the Town an option to pay over time, starting with approximately $2.5 million downpayment upon dismissal of the Town’s chapter 9 case, and additional $2 million payments annually for 23 years.

The Town can prepay at any time, without penalty, by seeking outside financing for the settlement. If the Town is unable to find such financing and instead follows the 23-year payment schedule provided in the settlement, it will pay the equivalent of a fixed 5.17% interest rate on a principal obligation of $29.5 million. (5.17% is likely lower than what the Town could otherwise get in an open market today.)

Under this long-term financing option, over the course of 23 years, the total amount paid would be $48.5 million, including financing charges. For comparison, if the Town were to finance the $43 million it currently owes to MLLA, on the same terms, it would pay nearly $71 million over 23 years at a fixed 5.17% interest rate.

Additional terms of the settlement, the Town’s rationale for settling, and the Town’s plan to finance payments are discussed further in this press release. The Town will hold a series of public meetings to review the settlement documents, answer questions from the community, and begin a dialogue regarding the Town’s plans to reorganize its operations in order to become more creative, effective and efficient, and afford the longterm settlement payments. The first of such meetings has been scheduled for Thursday, September 27, 2012, at 6:00pm, in the Town Council Chambers.

The settlement is the outcome of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court’s mandated mediation, led by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Elizabeth Perris and lasting August 6 through the execution of the settlement. It leaves behind history that began with the Town entering into an Airport Development Agreement with Developer Terrence Ballas in 1997, continued with Ballas transferring the hotel/condominium portion of the agreement to MLLA in 2004, MLLA subsequently suing and obtaining a legal judgment against the Town for $30 million that has grown to $43 million with interest and MLLA’s unpaid legal fees, and eventually resulting in the Town filing for chapter 9 bankruptcy protection in July 2012.

The settlement avoids what would otherwise be heavily litigated, expensive, and highly uncertain bankruptcy proceedings, and becomes effective upon dismissal of the Town’s chapter 9 case. The settlement calls for MLLA and the Town to jointly seek an amended writ of mandate from the State Court (in Mammoth Lakes), and for the Town to end its Chapter 9 bankruptcy case upon the State Court’s approval of the amended writ. The parties anticipate that the necessary actions by both the State and Bankruptcy courts will occur by December 31, 2012. Settlement terms

Below are the settlement’s key terms:

1. The amount of the settlement in current terms (the Net Present Value) is
$29,500,434. If the Town had funds to fully pay MLLA on the date the
settlement is approved, it would write a check for $29,500,434.

2. Since at the moment, the Town is not able to pay the entire $29.5 million, the settlement provides for a 23-year payment term, the equivalent of financing at a 5.17% fixed interest rate. Under this financing option, the Town will pay to MLLA $2,523,286 following dismissal of the Town’s chapter 9 case by the U.S. Bankruptcy
Court. The Town will then make annual payments to MLLA of $2,000,000, with the first payment due July 1, 2013, for a total of 23 years.

3. The Town will pursue efforts to raise funds to prepay the MLLA obligation through borrowing, and will work with both institutional and individual investors. The settlement does not call for any new taxes. However, the Town expects to engage the community in a discussion of whether a new tax should be raised with voter approval, to help pay off the settlement early.

4. Also parties to the settlement are the Ballas entities, the developer group 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 Ballas entities have since asserted various contract breaches by the Town, which the settlement will address. As part of the settlement, the Ballas entities are transferring to the Town immediately the water system that supplies water to the airport and its related operations – a critical asset that is important for the Town to
own and control.

5. Some of the leases that were approved as part of the Airport Development  Agreement in 1997 – mainly the hangar leases – generate income to the Town and the Ballas entities, with the Town currently receiving approximately $111,000 annually. These long-term leases generally have 37 years remaining on their term.

6. As part of the settlement, the Town will reassign its portion of the annual hangar lease revenues (currently $111,000) back to the Ballas entities for 30 years. After 30 years, the Town will resume receiving the revenues until the leases expire. In addition, following dismissal of the Town’s chapter 9 case, the Town will pay the Ballas entities $50,000, with an additional $50,000 within one year of case dismissal.

7. The net present value of the reassigned lease revenue is $2.5 million. In return for
this reassignment, the Town will receive the following:

a) The Airport Development Agreement and remaining long-term leases for
retail, restaurant, recreational vehicles, a general aviation terminal, and a gas
station will be cancelled. The Ballas entities will forgo their rights under the
Development Agreement, and the Town will no longer have any associated
obligations (such as related to minimum investment in and improvements to
the airport, approval of freeway signs, and so on).

b) The Town will be getting back its land currently encumbered by the
Development Agreement and the terminated leases, and will be free to use
these lands to pursue a C3 compliance level for the Airport, as well as offer
land for expansion or relocation of appropriate businesses.

c) The Town will own and control the airport water system.

d) Ballas and his related entities will waive any and all claims that they have against the Town for any alleged breaches or non-performance. If not waived, these claims could lead to another multi-million dollar legal judgment. The Town will soon publish all of the relevant settlement documents on the Town’s website.

Rationale for Settlement
The Town, including its elected leaders, management, legal counsel, and financial advisors spent countless hours over many weeks on an extensive analysis of the costs and benefits of the settlement versus staying in bankruptcy, as originally approved by the Town Council with a proposed payment of $6 million. The more the Town has learned about Chapter 9 bankruptcy and strengths and weaknesses of our particular case, the more evident the risks and costs became. More detail is provided below:

1. There was a possibility that the bankruptcy judge would find the Town ineligible for Chapter 9 relief, or would not approve our proposed debt restructuring plan. It became clear that the Town would be required to increase financial support for its litigation efforts in order to try to win eligibility and plan confirmation. These increases were estimated between $2.5 million and $5 million.

Without a massive cash infusion (and, quite possibly, even after spending additional millions), there was a strong potential for a dismissal of the Town’s bankruptcy case by the bankruptcy judge. This would immediately make the Town subject to the $43 million State court writ, ordering the Town to pay the $43 million immediately, or request a 10-year payment term (resulting in approximately $6 million annual payments for 10 years, after applying the 7% interest set by California State law). The Town simply cannot afford to pay $43 million immediately or $6 million annually.

2. A prolonged legal battle with MLLA and other major creditors was anticipated in the bankruptcy court. Such a battle would require spending millions of dollars in legal fees, with a very uncertain outcome as to the eventual payment to MLLA.

3. Even if the Town eventually received the U.S. Bankruptcy Judge’s approval of its debt adjustment plan, a payment to MLLA under that plan would likely be similar to the $29,5 million negotiated under this settlement. And even then, the Judge’s decisions could have been appealed by MLLA and others, resulting in yet more litigation and additional cost.

4. To finance litigation and eventual payment to MLLA, it was likely that the Town would be forced to use high-priority but discretionary spending sources such as Measures A and T, which currently fund tourism promotion, housing and transit programs.

5. The uncertainty of the ultimate decisions by the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the State Department of Transportation regarding the remainder of the Airport Development Agreement posed great risk. The Development Agreement, signed by the Town in 1997, still requires major approvals, including an environmental study, the access road extension and other onsite improvements.

The Town concluded that the settlement, including prompt dismissal of the bankruptcy case, was in the best interests of the Town. There are multiple benefits to the Town of this settlement:

1. The settlement provides certainty on the amount to be paid by the Town to MLLA and Ballas entities, and the duration of such payments; no such certainty could be possible in the context of a heavily litigated chapter 9 bankruptcy case.

2. The settlement, at its current present value of $29.5 million, is considerably less than the $43 million that the Town currently owes to MLLA under the legal judgment. The Town could raise funds and pay off MLLA immediately by writing a $29.5 million check. Alternatively, the Town has 23 years to pay $2 million annually, reflecting the equivalent of a loan with a 5.17% fixed interest charge, which is likely lower than what the Town could currently obtain in an open market. The Town could also
prepay at any time during the 23-year financing term, if it has sufficient funds. Partial prepayments are also allowed, as low as $250,000 in any given year.

3. It provides for payments over the course of 23 years – far longer than the 10-year period allowed under the State law.

4. It amicably resolves potential disputes with Ballas and the other DA Creditors with respect to the Development Agreements and related contracts and leases that were not assigned to MLLA.

5. The Town will be getting back numerous property and development rights, as well as the water system, as a result of the termination of the Development Agreement and certain related contracts, and these recaptured rights have both financial and strategic value to the Town.

6. The settlement avoids the cost, delay, distraction, and risk that would accompany extensive eligibility and plan confirmation litigation and permits a prompt dismissal of the Town’s Chapter 9 case, further limiting costs.

7. A number of settlements reached with third parties during the pre-bankruptcy mediation process are contingent on effectuation of a plan of restructuring or a settlement with the Ballas entities. The settlement with the Ballas entities will result in the Town receiving the benefit of those third-party settlements.

Town’s Restructuring Plan
During the next few weeks, the Town plans to meet with its employee groups to discuss ways to dramatically restructure its operations and provision of services. This will be a part of an effort to move to an innovative and collaborative model that reduces costs, engages other governmental agencies, volunteers, local non-profits, and the private sector. The Town’s plan includes talking to employee groups and evaluating the following options:

1. Contracting out some of its services, to other governmental entities, non-profits, and/or the private sector.

2. In collaboration with neighboring entities, such as the school district, the hospital, the fire district, ESTA, Mono and Inyo counties, exploring opportunities to create economies of scale in the provision of common services, through formation of a Joint Powers Authority (a JPA, similar to ESTA).

3. Creating opportunities for the public to be more involved in government by establishing a far-reaching volunteer program, with opportunities in areas such as customer service, visitor services and neighborhood patrols. The Town’s restructuring plan may necessitate elimination of some Town positions. The Town will meet and confer with its employee groups, and those groups will be invited and encouraged to participate in a competitive process to bid on providing the various services and functions that the Town will be considering for outsourcing, including those that may be provided through a JPA.

The Town plans to begin a dialogue with the community regarding its restructuring plan at a regular meeting on September 27, 2012, at 6:00pm. The Town’s desire is to begin implementing suitable portions of the plan by January 1, 2013.

In conclusion:
1. The Town fought hard to reduce the amount of the $43 million judgment currently owed to MLLA. After receiving input and advice from a U.S. Bankruptcy Judge who became our court-appointed mediator, the Town has determined that this settlement, at $29.5 million, was a far better alternative than taking a chance in a bankruptcy
court.

2. The settlement provides certainty on the amount to be paid by the Town to MLLA and Ballas entities, and the duration of such payments. No such certainty could be possible in the context of a heavily litigated chapter 9 bankruptcy case.

For further information:
Please attend a public meeting scheduled for September 27, 2012, at 6:00pm, in the Town Council chambers. The Town will publish all of the relevant settlement documents on the Town’s website in advance of the meeting, and have hard copies available at the meeting for discussion. Present at the meeting and available for questions will be the Town’s court-appointed mediator and U.S. Bankruptcy Judge, Elizabeth Perris, as well Settlement as legal counsel, including Ken Klee and Michael Tuchin of Klee, Tuchin, Bogdanoff and Stern, who are among the highest ranking and most respected in the bankruptcy field.

If you have questions prior to the meeting, please send them to
mllasettlement@ci.mammoth-lakes.ca.us, or call (760) 934-8989, extension 223. Town staff will compile all questions and answers into a report available at the September 27, 2012 meeting, and later post information on the Town’s website.

 

40 Responses to Town of Mammoth settles with MLLA for a principal of $29.5 million

  1. MotherNature September 21, 2012 at 1:48 pm #

    29 million is no great deal, that’s 48 million with interest.

    The judge at full value of 43 million would have less interest…

    Plus we are stuck with all those bad deals that would have been negated in BK.

    This is another sweetheart deal for the Police and town employees.

    They never disclosed the UNFUNDED PENSION LIABILITIES.

    THIS IS A BAD, BAD DEAL FOR MAMMOTH.

    RECALL THIS COUNCIL, THEY STINK OF CORRUPTION.

     
    • upthecreek September 21, 2012 at 3:21 pm #

      only $5000 per mammoth resident.
      Get out your checkbooks Sheeple

      GGW

       
    • SierraFan September 21, 2012 at 3:49 pm #

      Mother Nature,

      So negative against folks that have nothing to do with this but I guess if you agreed with this we wouldn’t hear from folks like you. I’m pretty sure 99% of us don’t like this outcome but it’s far better than what was coming down the pike! Some will never be happy!!

       
  2. Fool me once! September 21, 2012 at 2:32 pm #

    “Creating opportunities for the public to be more involved in government by establishing a far-reaching volunteer program, with opportunities in areas such as customer service, visitor services and neighborhood patrols”.

    Lets see the town council set the example by leading the volunteer efforts by giving up all their benefits and compensation as the first order of business at the September 27, 2012 meeting.

    My guess is they’ll attempt to lead us down the path to cutting our own throats. I’d rather volunteer my time in removing them from office. I agree the time as come to put up or shut up, I’m in!

     
    • Jen September 21, 2012 at 4:48 pm #

      Benefits and compensation? Haha, that’s funny. They get a lousy $300 a month to spend 40 a hours a week dealing with a nightmare that some of them inherited. I don’t see anyone else in town stepping up to the plate to do this job. No one bothered to run against the newest guy, Michael. And yes, from what I understand they do get health insurance, but most of them are business owners who probably already have it, so take away their annual teeth cleaning. Big deal.

       
      • Fool me once! September 21, 2012 at 5:13 pm #

        What part of lead by example didn’t you comprehend? I’m quite sure you are mistaken about the the true annual cost that should be paid toward the debt since you agree they don’t need it. We’ll see how big of a deal it is by their actions.

         
      • Realist September 24, 2012 at 3:18 pm #

        Jen,

        It is a privilege to serve the public.

        It’s not for the privileged.

        If you don’t like it, quit. They should get nothing.

        The “new guy” Michael Raimondo, has more balls than all the rest because he went into the deal when no one else would run pending the bankruptcy. He ran because he has successful businesses and wanted to offer his help.

        Everyone else has questionable business integrity, (just look at the past records) they serve only for the added benefit they get by sitting on stage. ie: clients who are star struck or want something extra.

        They do not listen to the public. Just read these posts and real “likes or dislikes.” They make decisions that trace back to their POCKETBOOKS.

        I guarantee they didn’t listen to anything Raimundo, the Freshman Council said and treated him like a new college pledge, just like they treated Skip Harvey, assigning him laundry duty while they did the “FIX”…

        Don’t fool yourself Jen, the 4 councilpersons who voted yes for this debacle did it because they were in FEAR and got some added benefit other than a teeth cleaning.

        Read the propaganda Rick Wood, (alias, Bart Simpson, I didn’t do it) sent to Benett, he is already campaigning for next year. This guy needs the boot. He is a lawyer (a paid liar by trade) making decisions that benefit other lawyers.

        Don’t forget his words, “We will win in appeal”. NOT.

        This is just downright WRONG! If you have a ounce of decency and are reading this Rick, you can still stop this tragic “deal” you are entering into.

        Let the courts make this life and TOWN changing decision.

         
    • erik simpson September 21, 2012 at 10:28 pm #

      ‘Fool me once’ has written:

      “I agree the time as come to put up or shut up, I’m in!”

      If that’s so, could we have your real name?

       
      • Fool me once! September 22, 2012 at 10:04 am #

        My name is jose jimenez.

         
        • Big AL September 22, 2012 at 4:04 pm #

          OMG Jose … LOL good one!

           
    • Throw the bums out! September 22, 2012 at 1:46 pm #

      So, where do I sign a petition to have the two councilman who were part of the whole fiasco (and are STILL in office) recalled?

       
      • Benett Kessler September 22, 2012 at 2:18 pm #

        We recently learned from Councilman Rick Wood that he was not on the Council when the development agreement was signed in 1997, was not on Council in 2006 when the case went to trial and reached judgment in 2008 and not on Council during the appeal in 2010.
        BK

         
        • Ken Warner September 22, 2012 at 3:16 pm #

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTbgsoHDc24

          I Didn’t Do It, Nobody Saw Me Do It, There’s No Way You Can Prove Anything!

           
        • Stopping corruption in its tracks. September 22, 2012 at 4:45 pm #

          I would love to believe what a attorney Rick Wood tells us, understanding how clever an attorney can be with words, phrases, their interpretation of the law etc. Secondly, I would love to believe that Wood knew nothing whatsoever of what went on during the entire ugly and self-serving process.
          Was he completely in the dark of what was happening?
          Lastly, knowing it is not against the law to capitalize, receive monies, favors, etc. on business ventures (above-board or secretive money exchanges any town official may be a part of) and that we must rely on what they tell is “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth” as gospel, makes this entire fiasco … suspicious doesn’t it?
          I guess that leaves only councilman Eastman (who wanted a relative to be a manager of sorts for the airport) as a prime suspect to be recalled.

           
        • H September 24, 2012 at 3:25 pm #

          Yep, just the comment I would expect – this shows some real character. He failed to mention that he was on Council from 2000 to 2008 and then again in 2010. For the eight years on Council, he had his hand in every single decision the Council made regarding the progression of the airport lawsuit. He had all the information in front of him for these 10 years and strong armed the Council into multiple decisions regarding the direction the Town went year after year. It was a series of decisions based in arrogance that got us into this mess and for 10 years he was the leader in this effort. Nice try Mr. Wood.

           
  3. act September 21, 2012 at 2:44 pm #

    So the Town is not bankrupt!!! Knew it! Delay, Keep from the public, etc. The payment will come out to nearly 60 million and we settle for nearly the original amount owed prior to us appealing the trial court decision. F*** Mammoth Lakes Leadership!

     
    • act September 22, 2012 at 10:27 am #

      Sry, 48.5 million which comes to 7 grand per resident!

       
  4. Mono Citizen September 21, 2012 at 2:47 pm #

    I calculate a total amount of $ flowing out of the Town, as part of this settlement, to be just under 52 million.

     
  5. Reality bites again September 21, 2012 at 3:02 pm #

    Did anyone notice what was said.

    “The more the Town has learned about Chapter 9 bankruptcy and strengths and weaknesses of our particular case, the more evident the risks and costs became.”

    ” Even if the Town eventually received the U.S. Bankruptcy Judge’s approval of its debt adjustment plan, a payment to MLLA under that plan would likely be similar to the $29,5 million negotiated under this settlement. And even then, the Judge’s decisions could have been appealed by MLLA and others, resulting in yet more litigation and additional cost.”

    Let me see. did we not hire the best legal team? Did they not tell the town what the risks and costs were..

    Holy Crap.
    It took them 5 years and 5 million dollars to figure that one out.

    Hey at least is over and we can move on with some certainty.

     
  6. Ken Warner September 21, 2012 at 3:07 pm #

    “This will be a part of an effort to move to an innovative and collaborative model that reduces costs, engages other governmental agencies, volunteers, local non-profits, and the private sector.”

    I want to see every former and current Council Member; every former and current Planning Commission member; every former and current legal representative and every former and current Town Manager out and “volunteering every day for the next 20 years.

     
  7. upthecreek September 21, 2012 at 3:23 pm #

    @Mother Nature

    “They never disclosed the UNFUNDED PENSION LIABILITIES”

    You hit the nail on the head. This is what they are afraid to expose in a BK filing.

    GGW.

     
  8. Big AL September 21, 2012 at 7:54 pm #

    Fill up those carpet bags so those guys can haul em out of town.

     
    • Reality bites again September 21, 2012 at 8:24 pm #

      It’s funny how the town neglected to post in it’s press release opening.
      The settlement amount is $29.5 million, substantially less than the $43 million judgment :

      If you read the body of the settlement as written in the press release you will see that MLLA is not the only winner in the deal.
      It appears Terry Ballus gets 50K now and another 50K in about a year.
      Ballus also gets 111 k per year for 30 years total. So that is 3.43 Million FRIKIN dollars more to Ballus.

      This is a deal. The town had an additional Liability of more than 4 million for the remainder of the Airport DA.

      Those attorneys the town hired need to held accountable.

       
  9. firsttime September 21, 2012 at 8:50 pm #

    I dont usually respond to blogs but i have to say “upthecreek” your an idiot.

     
  10. Bill September 21, 2012 at 9:50 pm #

    The world in which we live has become much too complicated. What ever happened to an honest wage paid, for an honest days work?

    I’m sorry for the future when every citizen will have to have a personal lawyer on retainer, and insurance for every possible scenario in life, just to live in our society.

     
    • Dingo September 22, 2012 at 12:40 pm #

      People got greedy Bill and somehow feel more entitled.
      As much as I love this country it is “America, land of the lawyer home of the insurance company” as it was said in an old school ski movie.

       
  11. MJA September 21, 2012 at 10:08 pm #

    The town is going to sign another agreement with Ballas?
    You’ve got to be kidding!
    Some people never learn.
    What will the new agreement cost the town in the end, bankruptcy?
    Don’t agree to anything with this guy,
    And don’t pay him a single dime.

    =

     
    • Reality bites again September 22, 2012 at 2:51 pm #

      You need to have Ballus sign in order to consummate the deal. DUH.

      The town needs to get rid of him and this deal accomplishes that.

       
  12. Observer September 22, 2012 at 8:30 am #

    Hell of a steep learning curve for the council to come to terms with the fact that they were in a precarious legal situation and would have to pay a substantial settlement sooner or later. They clearly hired lawyers that reinforced their long-held (and incorrect) belief that the Town could get out of paying for past mistakes through Chapter 9 bankruptcy. Somebody in those closed sessions clearly deserves credit for “seeing the handwriting on the wall,” and presumably telling the lawyers “thanks, but no thanks.”

     
  13. ferdinand lopez September 22, 2012 at 9:05 am #

    how does a town like mammoth get into this much trouble,skiiers,true skiiers,just want to eat, ski and work to pay their way,what the hell happened to having fun in the sierras,fishing and enjoying nature,how did money minded boneheads manage to screw up such a well thought out skiiers paradise,maybe someone should ask dave mccoy to do a clean sweep of all the scumbags and start over

     
  14. Ken Warner September 22, 2012 at 9:46 am #

    Question:

    If the town of Mammoth Lakes dis-incorporates, who pays the judgment? Who would pay those millions of dollars to MLLA?

     
    • Real Deal September 22, 2012 at 12:45 pm #

      The citizens of Mammoth Lakes would still be on the hook to pay through taxes.

       
  15. K Irvine September 22, 2012 at 6:42 pm #

    Our elected representatives entered into a legally binding agreement or contract for the development of the airport and then breached the agreement, which is then a legal cause for action. Modern business practices are based on contract law other wise chaos would ensue. Our town broke the law. The Town Council failed in its fiduciary responsibility
    and we citizens will now pay the penalty for years to come.

     
  16. Eastern Sierra Local September 23, 2012 at 10:25 am #

    Next up…..new taxes, “assessments,” and “fees,” all designed to make the taxpayers pay for this mess.

     
  17. Delta September 23, 2012 at 11:24 am #

    Amazing that Wood is still trying to wiggle out of this one. Does he think he has any credibility left? It seems that right after Wood and the other council members found out they might have to testify in the bankruptcy case the town hit the negotiating table. Or was it when MMSA got served with subpena for all emails between Mammoth Mountain and Town Council?

     
  18. Jeff September 23, 2012 at 1:17 pm #

    PS we will not pass a new tax to cover your rears council… Say no to ALL TAXES IN MAMMOTH! Vote NO

     
    • Ken Warner September 23, 2012 at 7:25 pm #

      I’d go even further — repeal Prop. R and Meas. U because you know they will try to use those funds to pay down the debt they incur to pay MLLA.

       
  19. MJA September 24, 2012 at 8:15 pm #

    Another Agreement?

    And if the town fails to pay the 2 million dollars agreed too some years down the road what will the courts award Mr Ballas again, 100 million?
    How can the town agree to something they cannot guarantee?
    Bankruptcy or a one time payment of whatever they can afford today is the only way to go.

    =

     
  20. Nancy Backerman September 26, 2012 at 11:37 pm #

    Very disappointed they caved so easily and decided to settle for a principal payment of $29M…throw in interest over a period of years and the town is right back to $40M+ – too bad the residents didn’t have the opportunity to voice their opinion by being able to vote on it. Just as a matter of principle it would have been nice for the citizens to have more of a say in the matter. Sadly, the elected officials seem to have let down the voters with this decision.

     

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