Town of Mammoth works toward substantive talks with MLLA

Town of Mammoth officials continue to hand out detailed information to officials of Mammoth Lakes Land Acquisition, the Santa Monica firm that holds the big $41 million airport lawsuit debt against mariannamartinezdwMammoth.  Officials from both sides will sit down for a conference call next Monday.

Consultant for Mammoth, Marianna Marysheva-Martinez, told Sierra Wave that the Town continues to provide information to MLLA on a weekly, if not daily, basis.  She said there are still some outstanding questions, some of which require an extensive amount of work by the staff.

Martinez named some examples.  She said MLLA wants a detailed schedule of all Town assets – land, rights of way, vehicles.  “It takes time,” she said.  Martinez also said that MLLA wants a lis of quantifiable benefits from air service.  She said the staff is struggling with that one because studies deal with national multipliers and not specifics on Mammoth Airport.

Why do MLLA officials want all of these details?  Martinez said her educated guess is that they are “trying to see the return on Town investments – whether high or low.” Martinez said that MLLA looks at things through the eyes of business, not necessarily public service.

On Monday, July 25th, officials of the Town and MLLA will talk on a conference call to discuss the status of things and when they will start to talk about options available in the settlement of the debt.  On the Town’s side, Town Manager Dave Wilbrecht and Martinez will handle the call.  For MLLA, Jay Becker and Terry Ballas are expected on the other end.

Martinez said they will not engage in formal settlement discussions Monday but exchange ideas in a “brainstorming process.”  As for Town government, Martinez said things are happening every day but that “We have this ship under control.”


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17 Responses to Town of Mammoth works toward substantive talks with MLLA

  1. upthecreek July 20, 2011 at 3:09 pm #

    I sure hope the town shows them everything Including the “unfunded pension obligations”


  2. Ken Warner July 20, 2011 at 4:18 pm #

    “Martinez also said that MLLA wants a lis of quantifiable benefits from air service. ”

    You know, I would like to see that also. And I think that should be public information on the town’s website — updated monthly. The supposed benefits to the community that the airport is supposed to be generating is why we are in this mess.

    P.S. upthecreek — take your medicine…..

  3. HH July 20, 2011 at 5:43 pm #

    i don’t think there CAN be a list of quantifiable benefits from the air service.
    We can calculate what a month or even a day costs to run the airport…from the wages and benefis paid to incompetent staff, the subsidies paid to the airlines to actually stop here, to the gas and wear and tear on the vehicle Picken uses quite often to have “meetings” at the Town offices just in time to take his wife to lunch, down to the lights left on when nobody is home.
    Take that number, divide it by 365 for a daily amount and then you’ll have how much each person anding in Mammoth has to bring in to town in order to break even. Just to break even.
    Now that won’t take into account locals who are flying out and coming home, friends and relatives that aren’t using restaurants and hotels and gas stations.
    So ALL businesses won’t get a piece of that pie and the Town as a government won’t see much of a slice either in terms of taxes or TOT.
    I believe even these few factors would show that there is no “benefit” from air service.
    One would have to follow each person getting off the plane and track each dollar spent and weigh it against the cost of running air service.
    And I don’t want to hear about the benefit of advertising we have air service when there is no tangible benefit to any other aspect of air service.
    NOW add in the 40 million judgment held against the Town and how long that will be to pay off and…you all getting the point here?

  4. John H. July 21, 2011 at 4:51 pm #

    The above comment by HH sounds like a disgruntled supervisor that is double dipping from the government trough. That stated, as a person that lives outside of the Town Limits, the airport has opened up a whole new portal. Family and friends use to say they could not visit because we lived too far away. Now those same family and friends do visit, do buy ski lift tickets, do shop, do eat at restaurants, do go to movies….you getting the point here now! It’s time to move on…..the 70’s way it use to be is long gone. Take a look at any successful ski town, and next to it, you will see an airport that is SUBSIDIZED!

    • Ken Warner July 21, 2011 at 7:25 pm #

      That is a rather broad statement. I would like to see some facts and figures.

      As for Mammoth — in 2010 there were 14,400 “enplanements”. Not really sure what that means but if it mean 14,400 people flew into Mammoth — that’s about one average busy weekend. Not my definition of success. And I’d guess that whatever money those people spent — most of it went to MMSA through packages and promotions.

      My source:

      I showed you mine — now show me yours…….

      BTW: that debate tactic where you suggest that, “…It’s time to move on…” That is getting to be a fairly transparent ploy to stifle the questioning of a dubious assertion.

      Well, I question your assertion that the flight service to the Mammoth Yosemite Airport is going to make Mammoth a “successful ski town”. Given that millions of people already visit Mammoth every year.

    • A Fan of HH July 22, 2011 at 2:51 pm #

      John H: You need to sign up for a course in inductive reasoning or, better yet, basic logic.

      Your wild assertion that HH may be a county supervisor, probably the number two worst insult that there is in Mono County, almost tripped me into thinking that you may be a town councilman, the undisputed number one worst insult. But I got control of myself, before I wind up in the same support group with you, UpTheCreek and a few others.

      Seriously, you really do need to seek help. Just because your mother and some friend have to visit you once a year, now that the sporadic flights into Gregory International Airport have stolen their excuse of living too far away to come to Mammoth, it doesn’t follow that these two reluctant “enplanements” can be extrapolated into ten of thousands of visitors who otherwise would never come to Mammoth. That’s the kind of smoke and mirrors that MMSA’s Howard Pickett dazzles the bobbleheads at the Town Council with.

      And, while you’re at it, check out your comments about successful ski towns and adjacent airports: It’s not only not true that every successful ski town has an airport next to it – many Colorado ski towns are 1-3 hours from the nearest scheduled airline airport and even Whistler is two hours from its nearest scheduled airline airport. It also clearly does not follow that every ski town with an airport next to it is successful – the most egregious example of which being our beloved Town of Mammoth Lakes, teetering on bankruptcy while still pouring money into an inherently defective airport with no concrete evidence of any financial benefit to anyone except Rusty Gregory and his MMSA.

  5. Charles James July 22, 2011 at 10:03 am #

    On January 9, the Los Angeles Times covered the breach-of-contract appellate court decision in Mammoth Lakes, California in which it noted that it appeared similar to the Alameda Point lawsuit in the Bay Area. There as here discussions have taken place over possible filing of municipal bankruptcy although it appears mediation is being attempted.

    There have been several news reports recently of municipalities around the country filing bankruptcy. Is this an option still open to the Town of Mammoth Lakes or has it been discarded? I’m sympathetic to both sides in this argument.

    Breach of a good-faith contract is not something that should be treated lightly and it certainly sounds like those representing the Town of Mammoth Lakes were first-class screw-ups. Yet on the other hand, why should the people and taxpayers of Mammoth Lakes be held hostage to the incompetence of a few elected officials? We voters do not always realized what we are getting when we elect our officials. All you have to do is look at our state and federal government to know this to be true.

    This is not like the U.S. government going into default. This is a municipality which would have a limited impact by comparison. The taxpayers of Mammoth Lakes might well prefer a painful bankruptcy over a ruinous judgement for which they are being handed the bill for a a decision in which most of them had little or no voice. If nothing else, put the matter up for a vote in a referendum. The pros and cons and consequences should be completely laid out for the voter.

    Even so, what a colossal and needless screw up this has proven to be for the people of Mammoth!

  6. HH July 23, 2011 at 6:34 am #

    I sure hope those powers that be read the papers…or that those at the airport CAN read a paper. I also sure hope we don’t have any airport grant projects that now we’ll be completely on the hook for, further adding to the quantifiable NON benefits of the air service fiasco, except for John H’s mom, of course (thanks for the fan)

  7. A Fan of John H July 23, 2011 at 8:09 pm #

    Bean counting for the instant moment has always been the hallmark of small minds. No air, no class, no interest except from whomever drives up from L.A. because they can’t afford to fly elsewhere. This is the kind of resort some folks want?

    • John H July 24, 2011 at 11:03 am #

      Thanks, Mom . . .

    • Ken Warner July 24, 2011 at 12:08 pm #

      No, of course not. We want our town to be a resort full of fractional ownership condominium hotels and empty second homes for the elite class of So Cal that only fly up here on weekends to harangue their home owners associations and grounds keepers. In fact, we should close 203 entirely and have a helio pad at the Villiage so people can be airlifted from the airport directly to the gondola. That would have the added benefit of keeping our workforce from easily escaping.

      Just kidding of course — or am I?

    • HH July 25, 2011 at 9:11 am #

      You’re absolutely right, John’s Mom…I mean “A Fan of John H”…let’s throw a bunch of money at the airport and hope…wait, that didn’t work…well, let’s do it any way again…wait, there are no more beans..
      I’ve got it, let’s diss the thousands and thousands of visitors from L.A. that HAVE been supporting this community for decades on there own dime while we subsidize those that can probably afford to pay for flights…wait, that doesn’t sound right.
      HELP, my mind must be to small.
      Please, John H and John H’s Mom, help us.
      oh, and a question mark is typically not used at the end of a statement. If you switch This and Is in your last sentence it could be a question, otherwise it seems a declaration that it truly IS the kind of resort some folks want.

  8. tm July 25, 2011 at 10:15 am #

    The problem with HH is that “He doesn’t want to hear about it.” Unless, of course It’s coming from one of his good ol’ boy constituents.

  9. tm July 25, 2011 at 10:35 am #

    The problem with HH is that he “Doesn’t want to hear about it.” Unless, of course, it’s coming from one of his good ‘ol boy constituents.

  10. HH July 25, 2011 at 4:13 pm #

    YAY! it’s my birthday, it’s my birthday….I’ve got constituents now! YOU WILL OBEY ME!…it’s good to be the king. wait,… what? When did I get constituents? Well, with or without, it doesn’t change the fact of this matter that there are no quantifiable benefits to the Town from air service unless…let’s buy John H, his Mom “A Fan of John H” and tm one way tickets? YAY! it’s my birthday, it’s my birthday….

  11. Steve July 26, 2011 at 3:07 pm #

    40+ million judgement while Rusty sits in his cash paid for new home… something about this SUCKS. Thanks to the man in black for NOTHING!

    PS Johnny Cash is the real man in black you wanna be

    • Rob July 27, 2011 at 9:13 am #

      Rusty’s a private businessman. You’d be better off worrying about the over paid people within TOML.

      So Rusty has a new home, I think that’s great.


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