Town of Mammoth Lakes Update

 – Press release from the Town of Mammoth Lakes

Town Manager Marianna Marysheva-Martinez’s Update: May 16, 2013:

To the Town Council, Town staff, media and Mammoth Lakes residents and businesses:


Below are highlights of noteworthy items from the past two weeks.

Town Council: During the 5:00pm portion of the meeting, discussion of the Fiscal Year 2013-14 baseline budget continued. The Town is still financially challenged, and this will not improve until new or additional revenues will start flowing in. In addition, it is very important to note that we are significantly under-funding our capital needs, including roads and buildings. Neither the Town nor the private sector have done an adequate job in this area. The physical results will continue to be visible. The solution, from staff’s perspective, is to cut services to invest more in infrastructure, raise dedicated revenues for infrastructure, cut marketing and invest more in infrastructure, or a combination of all these

• A question on the nightly rentals of single family houses also was raised, as a potential future project for staff to research. There are no resources within the Town to undertake this project. (Only three planners are left in CED, and they handle both counter requests and project planning tasks.) If a study is necessary, a consultant would need to be hired. There are currently no funds to pay for such a consultant.

• During my presentation, I mentioned that in addition to a financial crisis that we are barely avoiding, there is now a human crisis. The Town’s staff is simply burned out, overwhelmed by the workload that is the same as it was before the significant staffing cuts, and demoralized as a result. Town’s management will be making a recommendation on how to manage this crisis, during the June 5th Town Council meeting.

• The Town Council approved two significant sets of documents: 1) personnel policies concerning parnternships, gifts & ticket distribution, and recruitment & selection; and 2) an $84,000 contract with Mono County to address the Town’s “emergency” IT needs, including failing email and network servers.

• The Town Council also approved a resolution of intention that started the process to form a Tourism Improvement District. The district would generate nearly $5 million annually for enhanced marketing and tourism promotion, through MLT. The Town will not be receiving funds from the district, and will only collect and remit the assessments to MLT.

Other items:

– Town’s IT services: As stated above, a contract with Mono County has been approved to address the Town’s most immediate IT needs. The contract document has been finalized, and signed by the Town. The Town’s management team had our first planning session (over phone) with the County IT team on May 16. We were told that it may take us 2-3 months to get our email and file connectivity issues addressed. (This is the most expeditious, given the steps involved in the process.) The County and the Town are now proceeding with negotiations of the ongoing IT services contract, and hope to have it in place before July 1, 2013.

• Finance Department staffing challenges: Our Finance Manager will be out on leave for some time. This has created a challenge for the remaining staff, impacting their workload and the timeliness of their deliverables. We are working diligently to get interim help, which we have advertised through numerous channels. (If you know of anyone with city accounting experience, please have them contact me as soon as possible.) In the meantime, the small Finance team is handling the challenge remarkably well, and with their chins up.

–  Trails End Park Opening Ceremony: On May 7, despite the drizzle, we held an opening ceremony of the Trails End Park. A lot of youngsters joined us for this exciting event. Good media coverage followed.

Have a great rest of the week and a wonderful weekend.

Marianna Marysheva-Martinez



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22 Responses to Town of Mammoth Lakes Update

  1. Ken Warner May 17, 2013 at 9:34 pm #

    Right! Cut funding. Cut staff. Cut services. Then agonize about how to repair the damage you (MMM) inflicted on the town. Good for your job security — maybe — and real bad for the community of Mammoth Lakes.

    And create another funds generating entity to feed even more money to MLT while so many other needs go unmet? That don’t make no sense at all. So far, the “Marketing Will Be Our Salvation” strategy doesn’t seem to be working if you are continually concerned with not having enough money to keep the town running.

    But then, what do I know?

  2. Mark May 18, 2013 at 6:31 am #

    ammmoth lake?

    Marketing will be our Salvation hmm, k. How much did that smerf logo cost again?

  3. Tourbillon May 18, 2013 at 8:14 am #

    The Council “approved a resolution of intention that started the process to form”. So that’s good I guess. The council approved a resolution. The resolution signals an intention. The intention is to start a process. The process is to “form” something that will, through unexplained alchemy, raise $5M.

    That’s so inspiring, I have let my creditors know that I have resolved to intend to start a process of forming a means to find a way to raise money to pay them back. Will keep you posted on how that turns out.

  4. ferdinand lopez May 18, 2013 at 8:51 am #

    what a mess

  5. What mess? May 18, 2013 at 1:50 pm #

    No mess ferdinand.
    MMM was hired to save the day (with or without a new economic development person at a quarter million a year).

  6. Curious May 18, 2013 at 1:52 pm #

    What kind of birds don’t fly?

    Jailbirds ! Like the city of Bell, some of these crooks belong in the penitentiary.

    • Tourbillon May 19, 2013 at 8:09 am #

      Which “crooks” should be jailed – and have you brought forth your evidence to the D.A.? If not, why not?

      • Curious May 19, 2013 at 12:18 pm #


        The scofflaws that are targeting and fining private property owners for TOT infractions while under reporting their own TOT, sales, employment, state and federal income taxes etc.

        I did report this to a town council person and received the following written response,

        “I just sent this to our town manager for discussion…..

        Also, can you look into if we have an ordinance already in place for requiring annual filled Federal tax returns to be furnished upon business licence renewal annually? If we have it in place and are not mandating it we need to start, if we do not have it place we need to get a new ordnance in place that requires it. This will help with TOT collection verification on what many believe we are getting cheated on income reporting from many businesses in town for years.”

        You’ll notice he dealt with the TOT tax issue via federal returns, but none of the other business taxes, especially sales and payroll taxes,I had mentioned in our conversation. A follow up conversation he verbally he told me they were aware of the problem but there is little to nothing they could do.

        I’m done financing these crooks and will vote with my money too, I’m boycotting local businesses and the BID! Let the suckers pay for marketing their businesses and air subsidizes.

        • Sean May 20, 2013 at 12:11 am #

          Oh ya.. That will encourage business in Mammoth. More laws and reporting. Not. Maybe throw in some random water boarding of business owners just to let them know we mean business.

          Seriously Just raise the sales tax and stop all the red tape mess. Drop everything other than TOT. No BID.

          Make the system more simple rather than creating a bigger bureaucracy that costs more to run.

          It feels like someone needs to press the “reboot” button for the entire city government.

          • Mark May 20, 2013 at 12:39 pm #

            Reboot? Just pull the plug.

  7. Too many rundown areas May 18, 2013 at 2:01 pm #

    Money is getting tighter and tighter. Revenues are drying up almost everywhere. Mammoth has always catered to the middleclass L.A. folk who don’t mind driving up here to recreate.
    Unfortunately, with the middleclass rapidly disappearing, that leaves only the mega-wealthy with all the money and they prefer to “have it all” in much nicer places like Deer Valley (where snowboarding is prohibited) with international airports nearby.
    And be honest. When you see the rundown and dilapidated properties (ie., Main & Minaret) and other eyesores throughout the town, plus the strip malls, etc., I’m sure those richie-rich folk view the town as a trailer park compared to Breckenridge, Vail, Park City …

    Sorry, but if ya can’t get to the richie-rich, the down is going nowhere.

    • EasternSierraHomey May 19, 2013 at 10:30 am #

      What a sad commentary, you really think bulldozing everything you deem unattractive or not highbrow a solution to the town’s problems. Richie-rich is not the answer! The morons at the town’s government in bed with mountain created the focus on greed and ego, all plans, costs and speculation. Where is the performance? This combined with the town’s continued support of the airport debacle (driven by the mountain) continue to drown a common sense approach to tourism. Richie-rich only serves the mountain’s approach to tourism, because they have outpriced/elited the sking experience for the middle class.

      • Sean May 20, 2013 at 12:26 am #

        Yes. Fire up the bulldozers. Main Street is not attractive. Unless you are going for the “Bodie Look” of arrested decay that is.

      • Bishop's eyesores May 22, 2013 at 11:01 am #

        Bishop should know firsthand how it feels to have a gigantic eyesore on their mainstreet. They’ve gotten so used to the ugly fenced lot (you know the one I’m talking about) for so many years now they aren’t aware (or don’t care) that the richie-riches from L.A. view the area as a trailer park.

        Face it people.

        As during the Great Depression, the rich are getting richer off the backs of the disappearing middle class. And boy do they have attitude and political support.

  8. ferdinand lopez May 19, 2013 at 9:48 am #

    skiing needs to be made affordable,mammoth was at its best as a duct tape or brown bag resort

    • Catering to those who have money May 21, 2013 at 5:40 am #

      Those with the dough are choosing to “have-it-all” by trekking to places like Park City where at exclusive Deer Valley Resort snowboarders are prohibited.

      • Snowboarders May 21, 2013 at 11:11 am #

        Having being acquainted with Deer Valley, it is refreshing not to have to deal with snowboarders (who are responsible for many accidents due to the angle of descent on the hill.

        And pardon the stereotyping, but when I think of snowboarders, I think of scruffy, young people who like to get high, spend very little, and appear to be coming a nuisance.

        Doubtful that Gregory would follow suit and do what Deer Valley does and prohibit snowboarders.

        Therefore, the ski industry in Mammoth has flat-lined and everybody knows it.

  9. Jenn Mately May 22, 2013 at 2:11 pm #

    MMM was given a sinking ship, run by a screwball council with way too many personal agendas and political commitments. Tourism and John Urdi is the puppet master and whatever he says, the council and the business owners believe that he will save this town from disaster. The truth of the matter is that the people who run this town need to do what is right for the town and NOT what is right for them and their friends. Who will want to return to Mammoth when the services are non existent, the roads are falling apart, the police cannot respond because they are so thin, and developement fees and such are through the roof for even upgrades and repair. We will never be a vail, deer creek, or breckenridge, not matter how much money you through at it at the expense of services.

    Wake up Mammoth and hold the council responsible and not MMM. She hasn’t been here long enough to cause this deep of issues. I sure would not want her job.

    • Pawns to Mr. Potter May 22, 2013 at 7:57 pm #

      This present council has become so enamoured with itself, and knowing it takes a village to remove them, MMM must have figured it out by now that they are pawns to Mr. Potter (Gregory) and getting a pretty decent salary for a part-time job. This is what happens when one business is the only one.

    • MMM wanted the job May 23, 2013 at 5:23 am #

      Jenn –
      Well it’s clear that MMM wanted the job.
      So much so, that she crafted the illusion she could help solve the town’s economic problems, which got the existing town manager’s job bounced, and now she’s in the driver’s seat demanding the county help bail the town out and giving “advice” that the council allow her to hire someone who can save the day (at $250,000 a year).

      I want her job.


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