The Town of Mammoth Lakes has a history of come and go town managers. Usually reliable sources say it’s about to happen again. The public view of potential change depends on a citizen’s take on town government operations. Sources say the Town Council is considering ending their contract with Town Manager Marianna Marysheva-Martinez and hiring long-time, local businessman Tom Cage.
When Sierra Wave Media asked Cage about this report, he said, “I can’t comment.” Cage has lived in Mammoth for 37 years, owns Kittredge Sports and the Chevron and has served on the Water Board for ten plus years. He has also participated in a number of citizen groups analyzing local government.
When he was asked about the report, Mayor Rick Wood responded, “I have heard of rumors, but have heard none directly. I have received 2 letters from constituents who apparently have heard rumors and have declared the rumors to be fact. The facts are,” said Wood, “that the Town Manager’s performance and contract terms have been evaluated at her request over several months by the Town Council. Personnel matters, including this one, are to be held in closed session,” he said. The Mayor also said, “The Town Council has not voted on any issue related to the Town Manager. I will expect at least one more meeting to discuss. Once the Council votes, that action will be reported out of closed session. Until then, there is no action taken.”
While he did not confirm the dismissal of Martinez and the hiring of Cage, the Mayor did say he expects “one more meeting to discuss.” Earlier, Martinez had said she believed the Council had been discussing extension of her contract in closed sessions. She said there are a lot of challenges to keep her working in Mammoth. Martinez had just returned from a month-long vacation.
Town sources say the departure of topnotch employees may have led the Council to consider different management. The last exodus from Public Works of Director Ray Jarvis left several jobs unfilled. Jarvis had taken on management of Public Works, the Airport and Transportation. Town Manager Martinez had issued a press release in July to say that Jarvis and Assistant Building Official Johnny Goetz were leaving for better job opportunities. The press release does say that the developments of the past five years and an organization that is “over-stretched and overcharged has led employees to be more receptive to outside opportunities.” The Council plans another special meeting Friday.