Town government braces for shortfall


Mammoth Town Manager Dave Wilbrecht

Forecasts for Town of Mammoth finances ride the same wave as weather forecasts – dry and partly cloudy.  Even as Mammoth Mountain’s CEO confirmed a revenue shortfall of 30% and pay cuts for workers, Town Manager Dave Wilbrecht also confirmed that he and others are watching developments carefully, know a revenue shortfall will come and don’t know yet how they will handle it.

Wilbrecht said officials now await transient occupancy tax figures for January, which they will have in March and February TOT which will come out in April.  As a major revenue stream for Mammoth, TOT is expected to drop considerably.  Mammoth Chamber President, Brent Truax of Westin Monache, predicted TOT would drop by $1.2 to $3 million. Wilbrecht confirmed a shortfall but could not say how much yet.

Property tax revenues, the Town Manager said, will go down next fiscal year and expenditures, he said, will go up.  He said the Town is looking at increases in employee benefit costs, and fuel costs. Wilbrecht also confirmed that CalPERS also announced the cost of retirement will go up 5 to 6%.  “We’ll determine our shortfall,” said Wilbrecht, “and then decide how to finalize a plan.”

Wilbrecht said the Town will have to make decisions about levels of service.  He also said he met with employees this week to give them a heads up of shortfalls to come but a need to maintain services.  Wilbrecht said, “We’ll get the facts first as close as we can and then go to employees.”  Cuts for Town employees may be as likely as they were for Mammoth Mountain workers.  Wilbrecht did say that Town government will likely look at a combination of solutions.  “Employees,” he said, “have to want to negotiate.”

Meanwhile, no progress on debt negotiations with Mammoth Lakes Land Acquisition. The Town will have to respond to MLLA’s court petition to collect its $42 million debt.  Wilbrecht said a hearing is scheduled for early March.  He said Mammoth still wants to negotiate or mediate a solution with MLLA.


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38 Responses to Town government braces for shortfall

  1. upthecreek February 23, 2012 at 4:31 pm #

    @ TOML

    See what happens when you mess with Mother Nature….

    Gov. Gone wild

    Spend spend spend and when you are done Spend some more.

    Chapter 9 here we come.


  2. P&B February 24, 2012 at 8:21 am #

    Note the smug look of satisfaction on Wilbrechts face – he’s one of the only people making money off of this deal. The longer it drags on the more he makes and the closer he gets to collecting retirement.

    • upthecreek February 24, 2012 at 11:21 am #

      Sure glad to see that there are some people AWAKE to what is happening .



    • Reality Bites February 24, 2012 at 8:09 pm #

      P&B = POS=MLLA Tool.

  3. Ken Warner February 24, 2012 at 10:58 am #

    Sprinkle a few of these around the mountain —

    • upthecreek February 24, 2012 at 12:21 pm #

      And one from the Lakes basin down…

      Never happen here Too Much Liability


      • Ken Warner February 24, 2012 at 5:01 pm #

        From the lakes basin down — seriously — that’s a great idea! I could imagine it looping around Lake Mary and then down around the Twin Lakes cirque and then down over the cascade all the way to the Village. It would be World Class — as they like to say around here……

        • Rock of Ages February 24, 2012 at 7:17 pm #

          Ken…PLEASE DON’T suggest this at the next Town/Mountain Council meeting…this is the very essence of a “politically correct” project to spend cash on……..

        • Wayne Deja February 24, 2012 at 8:53 pm #

          Ken…I can see it now…one of these… in Mammoth Lakes..I can only imagine the local …..ya know what,never mind.

  4. Wilfred S. February 25, 2012 at 9:17 am #

    Said shortfall + MLLA lawsuit + LADWP lawsuit = Ghost town, ala Bodie.

    The good news? You’ll be able to pick up a condo for the price of a used car! Sweet!

  5. Trouble February 26, 2012 at 9:36 pm #

    Maybe Mammoth should follow the Dodgers owner into bankruptcies. Yell I’m broke one day and make a billion the next. I’ll call Donald Trump for more advise.

  6. Disgusted February 27, 2012 at 10:19 am #

    It’s déjà vu all over again, as the Town faces more financial problems in the face of this season’s drought and its latest over-paid public relations front man echoes the tired warnings of his predecessors. “Employees,” Wilbrecht said, “have to want to negotiate.”

    Well, how about the Town’s highest paid, highest benefit cost employee? Are you ready to renegotiate your $199,000 salary and $6,000 car allowance, Mr. Wilbrecht? Will you take a 15% cut like the Mountain’s CEO. The Town sure could use that $30,000.

    How about your $4,000-a week part-time “negotiator”, MMM? Why can’t you perform that role? After all, you are the Town Manager. Or your recently-hired $90,000-a-year Budget Analyst (and alleged Overnight IT Expert)? What’s his added value in providing public services? And why can’t you analyze the Town’s budget? Once again, you are the Town Manager, aren’t you?

    How about the high salaries of the Airport Manager and his faithful Assistant Manager who, according to The Sheet, can’t even put together a simple arithmetic comparison of emplanements (don’t you love the bureaucratic terminology) correctly – or is it honestly? Are they going to take a financial hit? And does the Town really need two of them – or either of them?

    How about the recently approved $250,000 for a sign? A sign! Or the $100,000 or more wasted on a logo? A logo that an elementary school drawing contest could have produced and probably improved upon! Or the next six-figure subsidy that the Town Council (and probably the County) will spend so that Horizon can fly near-empty airplanes all spring-summer-autumn long?

    It’s obvious that just about anyone with a graduate degree in public administration can be a town manager, or a county administrative officer, or a budget analyst, or an elected official for that matter, when property taxes and other revenues are flush. After all, isn’t that how these hacks awarded themselves a 35% increase in their PERS pensions a few years ago? But it takes someone with a lot more smarts than a briefcase full of failed academic nostrums to manage public services when the going gets tough. Are you that someone, Mr. Wilbrecht? Or, like MMM and your other predecessors, are you just another over-paid lackey for Queen Victoria and her Four Horsemen?

    • upthecreek February 27, 2012 at 1:48 pm #


      This was the best post I have read in a LONG time

      Thank you for being Awake to the scam they call Big Government.

    • Big AL February 27, 2012 at 9:53 pm #

      wow yeah … scams isn’t it?

  7. andrew February 27, 2012 at 12:58 pm #

    The town government should take at least a 30% paycut like everyone else seems to get.

    • Home girl February 27, 2012 at 3:04 pm #

      Yes they should, it is only fair, but fair is not how they play. Same thing happening in the county. Cuts to employees pay, their benefits and double the workload. While upper management and the Board get high juicy salaries and vehicles that WE PAY FOR. Without the workers, who is gonna plow the roads?, Who is gonna fix the things that break? Who is gonna type up all of their grand ideas? I would love to see town council or a supervisor shovel snow for the public and earn part of that cushy wage. Seems to me they get paid to make excuses.

      • Big AL February 27, 2012 at 9:54 pm #

        Amen home girl

      • Worker Bee February 29, 2012 at 10:12 pm #

        Just so you know, the employee(s) you are talking about also carpool together from Benton, arrive early, he gets picked up by another airport employee and goes to work. Yes he comes up at lunch to enjoy it with his wife, but is also picking up mail and other stuff from the Town Offices during this lunch period. So if he and his wife are carpooling from Benton and the car stays in Mammoth, how is he supposed to get up to the offices to get stuff done? I guess he could get a bike from the cops lost property and he can use that right?

        • Worker Bee February 29, 2012 at 10:34 pm #

          Sorry the above reply was for HH and the airport worker comment.

          Andrew, Homegirl, now I am not an expert……just a Worker Bee, but we have faced cuts, furloughs, no raises, increased workloads, and stress. In the last 7-8 years my department had been merged with another one, moved in with them, got de-merged, moved back to our old space, all while doing our jobs to the best of our ability, of course my definition of ability maybe different than all y’all, since everyone is into Town bashing these days. But I know I work hard and everyone at work I associate with works hard too.

          Just my humble observations and what I have been through.


  8. HH February 27, 2012 at 4:44 pm #

    so much of that is hogwash and I completely agree with disgusted.
    With the very little snow this year the plow operators aren’t working nearly as much overtime as in years past = savings.
    If the plows aren’t running as much there is reduced operational and maintenance costs = savings.
    Fewer visitors means less crowded nights up at the problem areas of the village so less police presence = savings.
    Wilbrecht’s salary is out of line.
    MMM salary is out of line.
    We need a budget analyst to tell us we don’t have any money?
    We need an IT manager to manage one IT guy?
    We need an airport manager, assistant manager, facilities manager and a few others to do what exactly at the airport?
    We need a finance manager who goes out with other employees to smoke frequently during the day but we can’t get TOT numbers in on a timely basis?
    But I guess if we’re going to declare bankruptcy and screw our creditors we might as well get what we can before we can’t anymore.

    If I ran my household like the Town runs it’s business I would have been on the skids a long time ago.

    • Big AL February 27, 2012 at 9:56 pm #

      Yes … they need .. to make more money … the greed

    • upthecreek February 29, 2012 at 9:42 am #

      @ HH

      See you at the next town council meeting to bring up your points with the TC.

  9. HH February 27, 2012 at 5:23 pm #

    It also gauls me that I see that assistant airport guy show up in a Town truck almost every day BEFORE noon, park in front of struggling businesses, and take his wife (who also works for the Town) to lunch. and then leave much AFTER one. So, not only is he using the Town’s vehicle and gas, but he’s leaving the airport early and coming back late so he can spend the full lunch hour with his wife. Nice productivity if you can get it. That waste is a slap in the face to all hard working townspeople. And don’t tell me he isn’t cheating otherwise because I hadn’t seen him in about a week and went up to check and guess what, his wife was out that week so there was no need for him to come in to Town. He’s a cheat.

    • upthecreek February 29, 2012 at 9:46 am #


      Correct me if I am wrong. When the town started it was to have between 8-16 employees… What Happened?..

      The BIG Government scam has come to Mammoth Lakes.
      Now there are approx 90 employees.

      A Far cry from 16.


  10. Trouble February 28, 2012 at 6:18 am #

    HH-talk about throwing someone under the bus. Ever think maybe the guy is on salary and works ten hours a day even with long lunches. I don’t really know, but I think your comments are really unfair if you don’t have all the facts.The only thing I think you proved is he loves his wife.

    • Home girl February 28, 2012 at 4:25 pm #

      Trouble, it is nice to try and give someone the benefit of the doubt but unfortunately HH is more than likely correct. The person I work for comes in between 9 and 11 leaves around 3 gets a cushy salary and a vehicle. In the month of sept. This guy worked a total of four full days yup count em four. But they are on salary and not required to work 8-5 like the rest of us. It is in their contract,

      • upthecreek February 29, 2012 at 10:51 am #


        You know times are getting stressful when the Government employees Turn on themselves.

        “Our Government has gone wild”


      • FifesWife February 29, 2012 at 11:27 am #

        Sounds like Great Basin APCD!

  11. ouch! February 28, 2012 at 9:02 pm #

    HH, Just a little reminder. We all work together and we all feel the stress of whats going on, but its not cool to bash your co-workers like that. we’re getting beat up bad enough by the public, we don’t need if from co-workers.

    • Worker Bee February 29, 2012 at 10:56 pm #

      Tru dat! Just like I said above, its bad enough many in the community are hating on us….we don’t need to start on each other too.


      • Rob March 1, 2012 at 8:03 am #

        We just want the truth and it sounds like you’re all about cover up

        • Worker Bee March 1, 2012 at 9:01 pm #

          Rob, of course we want the truth and to find an end of all this mess….I realize that the Town created this mess, and it sucks.,…but the majority of us obviously were not involved in this whole deal and there is not one person that I interact with on a daily basis that doesn’t care about the jobs we do and the services we provide to the town.

  12. Trouble February 28, 2012 at 9:37 pm #

    Home girl- Does that mean you think it is o.k. to address this with the media first?

    • Home girl February 29, 2012 at 9:00 am #

      Nope, and that wasn’t my intent I was simply saying that it is awesome to give people the benefit of the doubt but more than likely they were right. If I wanted to bring it out in the media I would call Bennet

    • FifesWife February 29, 2012 at 11:34 am #

      Thats the only way these things get addressed, the slugs in power aren’t going to do anything to hurt themselves. If Home girl and HH don’t like it, management will see they are punished if they complain, and nothing will happen to the privileged.

  13. truthbtold February 29, 2012 at 6:05 pm #

    Hypocrisy exists at all levels of government – unfortunately you either have to accept it or if you are an honest person, leave otherwise it will “slowly kill you from the inside out…” Oh, here is one idea for our hypocritical Town Council to save money – forgo your full benefit packages of health, dental, and vision insurance (yes, the same benefits that employees receive) and pay for them on your own like the rest of the community rather than through taxpayer monies. The politicians all have existing jobs or retirements and are able to obtain insurance benefits on their own. They are not employees and have other means – what gives them the right to have the community fork over tons of dough each and every year for your health, vision, and dental benefits? I would think the lone lawyer on our Council has the means rather than living off the taxpayers. I wonder the total tab for health, vision, and dental benefits the community has paid to John Eastman the past two decades? Plus, Council members are already paid a stipend for attending Council meetings. Take these taxpayer monies and include with the lift ticket tax, judgement bond, and other schemes to pay off the MLLA debt. If our politicians are truly committed to their roles on the Council, then they would serve without taxpayer subsidies of their benefit packages. Think this will ever happen – not a chance. Again, this is one example of the hypocrisy from our political leaders that employees and community members have to endure.


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