Wilbrecht picked for Blaine, Washington City Manager


Former Town Manager Dave Wilbrecht

The City Council of Blaine, Washington, voted last week to hire former Town of Mammoth Lakes Town Manager Dave Wilbrecht as their new City Manager.

An article in the News Tribune/ Bellingham Herald says that the Blaine City Council picked Wilbrecht to replace the 13-year, retiring City Manager. The article says Wilbrecht will start June 24th and that his salary will be $110,000. Leaders in that City seem fully aware of Wilbrecht’s participation in Mammoth’s major financial problems and his eventual resignation.

Although Wilbrecht’s departure from his position with the Town of Mammoth was cloaked in considerable secrecy, his separation agreement did go public. That document confirmed that Wilbrecht resigned and received nine months’ salary and accrued comprehensive leave money, roughly $150,000. The Town and the Manager both agreed not to make disparaging remarks about each other or to sue each other.

Wilbrecht left his job in Mammoth in mid-February in the aftermath of intense negotiations toward the MLLA lawsuit judgment settlement. The News Tribune article, reported by Kie  Relyea, quotes Blaine Mayor Harry Robinson saying that Wilbrecht was “selected for his years of experience as a city administrator and for being at the helm of Mammoth Lakes as the town grappled with a $43 million judgment from a development lawsuit that forced it to file for bankruptcy in July 2012.”

The article goes on to say that Mammoth reached a settlement agreement for $29.5 million. Blaine Mayor Robinson said “Wilbrecht had to make some tough decisions and he was responsible for getting Mammoth Lakes out of its difficult financial situation.” The news article said Blaine city leaders want Wilbrecht to help them out of their financial troubles.

In Blaine, Washington, nearly 300 people lost their jobs when a 200-room hotel shut down in December of last year.


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33 Responses to Wilbrecht picked for Blaine, Washington City Manager

  1. Sick of Mono County June 3, 2013 at 8:03 pm #

    Good riddance!

  2. wow June 3, 2013 at 8:20 pm #

    Wilbrect resigns from mammoth gets 150k to keep his mouth shut. Seeks new job and only appears to be worth 110K. WOW WoW and another WOW.
    We paid 150k to get rid of him.
    Don’t ya feel that the people of Mammoth got a major screwing from this Man?

    • Wilbrecht leaves the corruption behind June 4, 2013 at 9:47 am #

      The only major screwing the people of Mammoth got was from their inept town council (stooges for Rusty Gregory). Wilbrecht left the county high and dry. And now his fair replacement (whose suggestions for the town is to “build more car washes, and car dealerships … stuff like that.” is going after Mono County’s cash surplus to help bail out Gregory’s airport fiasco. Wilbrecht was/is his own man, butted heads with Gregory, and now the town is quite possibly headed for the gradual and eventual status of a ghost town. Mammoth Mountain has gone as far as it can go financially. Those with the money are vacationing elsewhere leaving a shrinking middleclass from L.A. as the only visitors.

      Congratulations to Dave Wilbrecht for getting out from under a totally corrupt and self-serving situation.

      • Wake UP! June 4, 2013 at 12:41 pm #

        I had much respect for Dave. I felt he understood and was willing to deal with the corruption. Unfortunately he resigned and in my opinion screwed the pooch with a 150K.. You can tell me all day long about his honesty and integrity all you want. The fact his he took the money and ran.

        This gives me two opinions.
        1- the town felt that it was worth 150k to keep up the corruption.
        2 and that 150k Dave was willing to be just like them.

        My opinion of course!

      • see yaa Mammoth Flakes June 4, 2013 at 9:52 pm #

        “Those with the money are vacationing elsewhere leaving a shrinking middleclass from L.A. as the only visitors”

        yes you are correct. normally my family spends a week (summer & winter ) in Mammoth Flakes. This year we just booked our summer trip to Park City/Deer Valley…

        See Yaa later mammoth

        • We don't all work for The Mountain June 5, 2013 at 9:43 am #

          There will always be the middle-to-lower middle class southern California ski crowd who will always drive all the way to Mammoth to recreate (ski), as their parents have been doing for years.

          Rusty Gregory, who must show profits quarter-to-quarter to the Mammoth Mountain stockholders, is fooling those stockholders and himself, trying to persuade the powers-that-be that an intensive (and expensive) marketing program will convince those who have the dough to vacation in Mammoth instead of such exclusive topnotch tourist destinations such as Deer Valley
          (where snowboarding is prohibited).

          Compounding the problem, is the town council who is starting to lean towards the notion that we the taxpayers should cough up the money for the marketing program and not the Mountain.

  3. Mark June 4, 2013 at 11:06 am #

    I’m doing my part and not spending a cent within TOML. I also bailed out on the MVP.

    I’m so over MMSA & TOML BS.

    Good luck!

    • Buffalo Billious June 4, 2013 at 8:37 pm #

      I’m doing my part and picking up Mark’s slack. (spending extra in TOML and adjacent county)

      MVP 2013/14 !

      June Mountain !!

      • Mark June 6, 2013 at 8:46 am #

        Well get your credit card out. The slack you’ll be picking up is about $20k a year.

        Good luck with that 😉

  4. Desert Tortoise June 4, 2013 at 2:29 pm #

    So how many of you make public comments at Town Council meetings or participate in any of the council’s committees, either as a member of a committee or a member of the public making comments to voice their opinion on matters?

    Ultimately the community itself is responsible for what their elected representatives do. Don’t blame anyone else when you put them in office. It’s too easy to sit behind the anonymity of the internet and snipe from the sidelines. How many of you are willing to roll up your sleeves and get involved in the hard work of making decisions? Betcha not many. I serve my community on a committee. How about you becoming involved? Just asking …………..

    • Not that easy June 4, 2013 at 4:11 pm #

      D. T. –
      Are you aware of just how difficult it is to recall an elected official?
      Believe me, they do.
      Is part of “rolling up the sleeves” demanding to know what goes on behind closed doors at those numerous non-public meetings ?

      • Desert Tortoise June 5, 2013 at 10:59 am #

        Who said anything about recall? I am talking about two things; number one paying attention to who you elect the first time around and, number two, getting involved with public policy hand on and in person, either by regular attendance and, importantly, voicing your opinion at council meetings during public comments and/or becoming a member of a council committee. I do both. i cannot fix everything, but if you make some well reasoned public comments and work hard in a committee, you can and I have used the power of public opinioin to force a city council to take a step back. Blog if you must, but become involved and use the blog to agitate others to also take action. There are few things more successful in local government than to pack a meeting with supporters so the council or committee members hear the same thing or nearly so from each speaker during public comments.

        • Voter apathy June 5, 2013 at 4:12 pm #

          D.T. –

          “… pay attention to who you elect…”

          Bacon and Raimondo got their jobs without having to kiss one single baby for the vote.
          And now they have all the power including firing Dave Wilbrecht and becoming enamored with his replacement.

          • Benett Kessler June 5, 2013 at 6:27 pm #

            You have made this point repeatedly. How about we move on.

          • Repeating the message June 6, 2013 at 5:22 am #

            With all due respect, Benett, I think whatever might stir John Q. Citizen to get off their duffs, become aware of the corrupting nature of local/state and federal government at the hands of elected officials, and take action … any action is a point well worth repeating.

            Clearly you are tired of this particular thread but perhaps you might be better served if you could compare it to your own Bureaucratic Beat policy.

            But if you favor one particular side(s) in this matter, that is an entirely different matter since this is your blog and you control what you deem as important and what you may deem as merely frivolous or annoying repetition.

          • Benett Kessler June 6, 2013 at 8:48 am #

            I favor effective communication. Tedious repetition does not turn me on.

    • MK June 4, 2013 at 9:02 pm #

      I do , I do

      I make plenty of comments. Sometimes they are considered sometimes they are not.
      I liked Dave but after he left us I don’t . I feel like others he took us for a lot of money . Why

      we will never know.

      • The Fish Stinks at the Head June 5, 2013 at 9:49 am #

        MK –

        You haven’t yet figured out that Dave was forced to leave?
        Why do you think everything (reasons for his firing) was kept under wraps with a legal agreement not to disclose one damn word about it?

        • Benett Kessler June 5, 2013 at 12:25 pm #

          Dear Fish, There are only assumptions without the real facts.

          • Something stinks June 5, 2013 at 1:00 pm #

            Both the Town and Wilbrecht have promised not to talk.

            My experience tells me when this sort of secrecy occurs – something is most definitely rotten in Denmark. Big time.

            Facts: Dave & MMM were recently lauded for assisting in bailing out the town; Dave is gone – The Town Council and MMM (who now says there is a shortfall) are still around.

            Call it conjecture. Call it assumptions. Call it business as usual for Mammoth. (And you can be sure that Mammoth Mountain and its CEO are in there somewhere).

          • The rest is history ... June 5, 2013 at 1:38 pm #

            Dave Wilbrecht left Mono County with a surplus, generally high morale and integrity of the employees in each department, and in general, was the most likely the primary reason the Town of Mammoth Lakes made him an offer he couldn’t refuse.

            In his short tenure, he and Assistant Town Manager Marianna Marysheva-Martinez were deemed Mammoth Times “Persons of the Year.” This included a situation (typical?) in where Mayor Skip Harvey called an “embarrassing” situation, the terms of Wilbrecht’s retirement benefits ran contrary to a November council resolution, which councilwoman Jo Bacon said she can’t even remember making. (This is one of the councilmen who got the job without one vote being cast for them).

            A person of Dave Wilbrecht’s caliber deserves much more than a bum’s rush that he received shortly after MMM’s already legendary PowerPoint presentations that simply dazzled and confounded the council.

          • Smells Fishy June 5, 2013 at 2:40 pm #

            More fact than fiction! He had a contract that four of the five council members had approved. They tried to get rid of him on the cheap, but he beat them at their own game, simple as that.

          • Desert Tortoise June 5, 2013 at 3:52 pm #

            The secrecy of the deal is a violation of the Brown Act and should have been challenged. In all likelihood a court would have ruled the secrecy illegal. Again, it is the voters fault for not challenging their city counci. They can’t get away with these things if citizens are involved and prevent them from happening.

            Ridgecrest borrowed money from their Wastewater fund for many years until a lawsuit from the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, brought in by locals unhappy with their city coucil, took the city to court. The city settled out of court and agreed to pay the loan back. Now the city is attempting to rasie the waste water fee and the citizens are revolting against that. Get involved or quit complaining.

          • Benett Kessler June 5, 2013 at 6:28 pm #

            The Brown Act does allow for secret meetings regarding personnel matters and lawsuits.

          • Desert Tortoise June 6, 2013 at 3:39 pm #

            The Brown Act does not permit a legislative body to spend the public money in secret however. That is why this would be a Brown Act violation.

          • Benett Kessler June 6, 2013 at 4:18 pm #

            I don’t think so.

  5. Good luck, Dave June 4, 2013 at 3:05 pm #

    If I were Dave Wilbrecht, I would have sued the town’s ass off.
    Good luck and God speed to you, Dave. Blaine, Washington is no doubt greener pastures.

  6. salblaster June 4, 2013 at 9:30 pm #

    @ not that easy. it is actually very easy to get rid of an elected official, come election day if a majority of the voting public does not like the job an elected official is doing, they vote him out of office. it’s that simple.

    • Here's the problem June 5, 2013 at 9:46 am #


      Do you know when the elected officials of Mammoth’s terms are up?

      Do you also know how much damage these elected officials can do while they are still calling the shots for the town (aka Mammoth Mountain corporation)?

    • Not that simple to throw the bums out June 5, 2013 at 10:52 am #

      Lehman’s term ends 06/14 (Lehman is a developer)
      Wood’s term ends 06/14 (Been in office forever)
      Raimondo’s term ends 06/16 (ran unopposed)
      Bacon’s term ends 06/16 (ran unopposed)
      Eastman’s term ends 06/14 (Benn in office forever)

      The question to ask is how simple can it be for an elected official (2 ran unopposed) to do major damage to the town while in office?

      • Recalls aren't an easy Task June 5, 2013 at 6:11 pm #

        Everyone who think recalls are easy need to look up the process. It’s a major time and headache for the person taking charge. When Jim Lovett Mono County Finance abuser finally got yanked out, The person leading it went through a major hassle of time and personal money to move it ahead.She to this day is never thanked for taking the time for what needed to be done from Lovetts first day on the job.Drinking Alcohol during lunch breaks, never showing up to the office, extended days off over weekends, and telling his staff he can be paid off to resign and go away.Then 2 D.U.I’s in a Mono County vehicle, and still was collecting a paycheck. These government elected officials know how many loops you have to jump through to get them out.Residents just don’t get involved do to job security,smeared reputation by the good ole boy,slipping through the cracks,friendships,have better things to do,and let someone else do it.Not enough fighters in the area to bring our government and Gorillas to justice and that’s why all of you will pay for all the Gov. mistakes out of your own pockets.

  7. ferdinand lopez June 5, 2013 at 4:43 pm #

    all good.this guy reeks,the whole town council reeks,and its amking the town reek

  8. ferdinand lopez June 5, 2013 at 4:44 pm #

    it reeks so bad i cant even spell anymore


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