Although no one will say it publicly, a series of three closed sessions held by the Mammoth Town Council indicates that Town Manager Dave Wilbrecht is leaving. Some Mammoth people say they wish the shake-ups would stop. Another closed session was set for Monday.
When asked about this last week, Mayor Matthew Lehman said, “I can’t comment on anything right now.” Mayor Pro Tem Rick Wood responded to questions about Wilbrecht leaving when he said, “I can’t confirm or deny this. It’s up to him.” The Town Manager has not returned our phone calls.
Last week the subject of the closed sessions was initially evaluation of the Town Manager. The next session agenda said the Council would consider appointment of a Town Manager. That agenda also said the Council would hold a conference to “consider discipline/ dismissal/ release of a public employee.”
That is the same language in yet another closed session scheduled for Monday at 5pm. Asked if Mr. Wilbrecht would attend Monday’s closed session, Mayor Lehman said he did not believe so – just the Council and their lawyer.
The restructuring of town government, as Councilman Wood said, has created a lot of anxiety. Changes have also put pressures on Wilbrecht and Assistant Town Manager Marianna Marysheva Martinez. They advocated many unpopular personnel and service cuts to balance the budget and make annual $2 million debt payments to Mammoth Lakes Land Acquisition.
In the wake of the changes, more employees, including police officers and others, have bailed out of Mammoth town government for other jobs.