A closer look at administrative salaries and benefits

mammothtownofficesMammoth citizens continue to face government service choices and cuts to accommodate the 23-year annual $2 million payments on the MLLA debt.  Many have begun to point at top managers and their pay as likely places to cut instead of half of the police force.  Sierra Wave Media did discuss pay figures and now have heard from Mammoth Town Manager Dave Wilbrecht on what he sees as a more fair comparison of total pay among Inyo-Mono administrators.

Wilbrecht said that the $311,000 pay figure we reported for him includes more benefits than we listed for other administrators who also receive them.  Wilbrecht said a more comparable comparison of his pay would be the base pay of $199,000 plus $31,374 of PERS retirement and medical benefits, $2340 of dental and vision benefits and other compensation like vacation value and sick leave at $26,023.  The total comes to $258,737. This compared with a figure of $311,000 that includes other common management employee benefits not attributed to other administrators in our area in their wage figures.

In a highly charged political atmosphere of severe budget cuts, Town Manager Wilbrecht said he wanted to make sure salaries were presented in a fair comparison.  With base salary, retirement and comparable benefits here are Eastern Sierra administrators’ numbers:  Mr. Wilbrecht, $258,737.  Assistant Town Manager of Mammoth Marianna Marysheva-Martinez at $248,872.  Mono County Administrator Jim Arkens at $228,082.  Inyo County Administrator Kevin Carunchio at $213,800.  Bishop City Administrator Keith Caldwell at $181,708. All of these administrators handle other department jobs in addition to main management.


39 Responses to A closer look at administrative salaries and benefits

  1. concerned October 16, 2012 at 6:00 pm #

    They are paid too much considering the financial crisis in Mammoth. Get Real!

    • upthecreek October 16, 2012 at 8:42 pm #

      ” Mr. Wilbrecht, $258,737. Assistant Town Manager of Mammoth Marianna Marysheva-Martinez at $248,872. ”
      Dont forget about the approx 300k for the police Chief..
      And you wonder why Mammoth has a Money problem..

      Remind me what the average person in Mammoth makes..

      Why do you think they are called “Public SERVANTS”

      govt gone wild

      • 1234 October 17, 2012 at 1:44 pm #

        Benett, can you verify what the Chief of Police makes as you’ve done for the managers? I don’t believe the $300,000 is accurate as stated above.

        • Benett Kessler October 17, 2012 at 2:09 pm #

          The Assistant Town Manager told me the Chief’s pay is $183,000 plus benefits. That would not add up to $300,000.

          • J.J. October 18, 2012 at 8:35 am #

            Did she reduce his pay by $25,000 that was part of the restructuring proposal?( Did she tell you that? ) With no raises in sight, he’ll retire at the same percentage rate of his highest years pay, regardless if he takes a $25,000 pay cut or not.

            Last figure I remember hearing, he was $318,000 all in. Maybe it was an honest mistake? she could have transposed the 3. with the 1. and meant total compensation?

          • Benett Kessler October 18, 2012 at 12:17 pm #

            The figure is $183,000. I understand the Police Chief’s pay will go down by $50,000 a year – $25,000 this fiscal year. At least that is the proposal.

          • J.J. October 19, 2012 at 1:02 pm #

            “Watson, meanwhile, would take a big hit in accepting salary and benefit cuts from his $183,547-a-year base salary and $304,842-a-year total compensation package”.

            Quoted from the Mammoth Times 10/01/12

  2. Ontheropes October 16, 2012 at 7:27 pm #

    It’s not just about the salary, but the fact that we’re paying for TWO of them.

  3. MoMoney October 16, 2012 at 7:40 pm #

    Benett, the contracts for both Managers were approved by the Council and is public record. Please verify these numbers if you haven’t already. Also, please check if either or both took the series of pay and benefit cuts that the other employees did. I heard that they did not.

    • Benett Kessler October 17, 2012 at 2:08 pm #

      According to the Assistant Town Manager, “Civilian management has contributed exactly the same as all civilian unionized employees. Last year, it was no cost-of-living adjustment and unpaid furloughs. This year, it is contributing 8% to our retirement.” The Police took a 23% cut in June.

      • MoMoney October 17, 2012 at 3:16 pm #

        That is not correct. MMM and Wilbrecht’s contract already included their 8% payment into PERS and their salaries were raised specifically to “compensate” for that. Then when the other employees were asked to pay their 8% PERS, the TWO Town Managers said that they were already paying for it, so they didn’t need to take a cut. Therefore, they DID NOT take an equivalent cut. Bennet, if you recall, Wilbrecht’s contract came before the Council twice. The first time it was for a lower salary and required him to pay the 8% PERS. He said he didn’t realize he would have to pay the PERS, so the Council said that his salary would be increased to offset it. THey made the change and the Council approved it at the next meeting.

      • Sally October 17, 2012 at 3:27 pm #

        Yes, a 23% cut in June but an 18% raise (roughly) per their contracts, so isn’t that really a 5% cut??

  4. Sean F October 16, 2012 at 8:19 pm #

    How many cops are killed each year or seriously injured? What do cops on average get paid?

    How many city managers are killed or seriously injured each year ( paper cuts don’t count as serious injuries ). What is their average pay?

    Do city managers blow out their knees or suffer back problems from the 15 pounds of gear they carry around all day? Do city managers have the responsibility of possibly having to take a persons life to protect citizens from dangerous criminals ( and dealing with PTSD for years after)? Do city managers run away from OR towards gunfire? If a madman is shooting people at a school or in a theater is it the city manager or the cops who rush into that danger to stop the threat?

    And how do the pay rates differ again?

    But hey I hear city managers give really good Power Point.

    How much pay or benefits reductions have managers taken recently? We know the cops took at 24% hit recently.

    You would think that you could get away with paying slightly less than average in exchange for getting to live in Mammmoth ( speaking to attracting good employees). Ya costs are higher here so I think paying THE Average is justified but no more than that.

    Important questions and issues…

  5. cl October 16, 2012 at 8:36 pm #

    All this does is prove they’re all paid too damn much. As I said in the other comments, base wage for Carlsbad C A IS 217K, population 108k, base wage in Mammoth 199k for what 8000 people on a good week. Nice try Dave

  6. moresnowplease October 16, 2012 at 10:25 pm #

    If were going to make cuts they should across the board and even. ALL persons employed by the TOML. INCLUDING managers. This is super unfair and is creating terrible morale. I in fact own and operate a small business. I am the first one to take a pay cut before my employees. Morale is something that can not be bought. Its is earned. And when you have very good morale you will have a town, a workforce and a people that will pay it back two fold.

    Good luck with all of this.

    Greed kills.

  7. Forget The Comparison October 17, 2012 at 6:10 am #

    Forget the comparison. Wilbrecht still actually makes $311,000, $52,000 more than his “comparison” compensation.

    That’s $52,000 in “other common management employee benefits”, or a grand a week. Not bad for a guy who used to run parks and recreation and still spends a heck of a lot time in his own recreation!

    • V&P October 18, 2012 at 5:22 am #

      Wilbrecht’s “bobandweave/passtheresponsibility” management style is exactly what the town council wants which is why they pay hiim such an outrageous amount. MMM is what he wants so there is always someone in front of him to take the hit, so in his opinion well worth the taxpayers dollars to assure that he can blame someone else – so much for responsibility.

  8. Where are you Skip? October 17, 2012 at 6:19 am #

    Absolutely disgusting!
    Where is Skip Harvey (the only honest councilman this town has ever had) now that we need him?

  9. CaMtnGirl October 17, 2012 at 10:14 am #

    Wow! I so went into the wrong career. Maybe if our town adminstrators made the type of money most of us mammoth-ites do, they would really understand budgeting and make better decisions on how to spend our money.

    • upthecreek October 17, 2012 at 12:52 pm #

      The paycheck is nothing .. It is the HUGE pension and Benefits package they all work for.

      I bet you the average person would love to retire after 30 years at wok Making 90% of their pay Plus Benefits

      And you wonder Why the state of Taxifornia has 500 BILLION in unfunded Pension and Benefit Liabilities

      Just ask the current police chief how much his Pension is from Pasadena PD.

      Hawaiian shirts and fancy Cigars for everyone

      Our Govt. has Gone WILD.

  10. Malfeasance in Mammoth October 17, 2012 at 12:10 pm #

    In-groups know all the tricks to willfully and wantonly hide and perpetuate their misconduct.
    Members decide to control the affairs of a town, get together and chose
    which members would be good candidates as “town managers”.What makes a good candidate is different from what makes a good In-group member. A good town manager will submit to peer pressure and not represent what is best for the town. Someone with no business experience and no legal experiences is the best candidate for the purpose of control. “In Groups” exist in Mammoth as a political group. They believe
    their services and input is essential to the good of their town, venders’ lawyers,
    and management and development companies.
    Give inept town managers whatever they want – just so you can control them for the good of the In-group and to hell with the town.

  11. K Irvine October 17, 2012 at 1:42 pm #

    In todays LA Times is an article about the city manager of Ventura. Salary is $174,000 for a city of 106, 433. Mammoth has 8,296 people and the base pay of $199,000 for the city manager. Mono County has a per capita income of $29,013. What do you think?

  12. Steve October 17, 2012 at 4:13 pm #

    Skip died last summer. RIP Skip

    • Skip's whistle-blowing October 18, 2012 at 6:33 am #

      Before Skip Harvey passed on he hinted quite strongly that his co-councilmen were not operating above board.
      On another thought, when MMM hit the scene, she immediately put the kibosh on long-time councilman John Eastman’s attempt to give his future son-in-law a cushy position at Rusty Gregory’s airport, demanding a customary (and less-corrupt) job search for the position.
      Soon afterwards, here comes another town manager who was offered the position with no customary job search.
      Methinks one councilman has been around a wee bit too long.
      Does it require a Grand Jury to investigate what other malfeasance has been going on?
      I’ll bet Skip would agree.

      • and speaking of Skip ... October 18, 2012 at 4:00 pm #

        “I am concerned by the mobility section [Measure U was passed to be used on mobility, arts and culture, and recreation] and the notion even being put out there to use up to 50% on airport subsidy,” he said. “I know the committee ixnayed it but that doesn’t mean the next Council or Tourism and Rec group couldn’t change it and say, yes, air service falls under the mobility heading. I support a small part going to air service but the money should go to bringing the town up to speed. Our product is behind our marketing. We only have about 40% finished of what people should be seeing when they get here and 30% is from Mother Nature.” -Skip Harvey

        Measure U for air service subsidy did go to the Oversight Committee, which voted 2-1 not to use the funds for subsidy. Council overruled the committee when it chose to take a loan from the funds, anyway.

        Even Mammoth Mountain CEO Rusty Gregory had stated that use of Measure U wouldn’t be appropriate for the air service subsidy.

        source: The Mammoth Times

        • Benett Kessler October 18, 2012 at 6:31 pm #

          Rusty said that the language of Measure U was broad enough to include something like air service. That’s a paraphrase of his statement at the Town Council meeting.
          Benett Kessler

          • Ken Warner October 18, 2012 at 10:12 pm #

            …and whatever Rusty says — etc. etc. — it’s like a that old song, “Whatever Lola Wants”


  13. Steve October 17, 2012 at 4:15 pm #

    Hey Dave how do you sleep at night, Shameful… next time I see you your going to hear it to your face pal.

  14. Lead by example - if you can October 18, 2012 at 5:51 am #

    Leadership by example may be required at this time.
    If it is allowed by the elected officials.
    Elected officials often like to pawn off their malfeasance on a stooge who really has no power. The stooge eventually gets fed up and sometimes butts heads with the elected officials. And if you haven’t already noticed, under great pressure, moves on to greener pastures. The turnover rate in this category is extremely high.
    Why do you suppose this is?

  15. 8%? October 18, 2012 at 6:13 am #

    Really? If I’m doing my math right, wilbrechts 8% of his 199,000 is roughly 16,000 dollars. 16,000 dollars. Do you hear that Council? 16,000 extra dollars to a man who didn’t realize he was going to have to pay PERS, threw money at a budget manager/IT manager who was as inept as he is, and now thinks it’s okay to get rid of the people that actually do the work. And bacon thinks that’s okay too. 16,000 dollars. Pathetic

  16. MJA October 18, 2012 at 8:49 am #

    Condo plans at the airport caused all this.
    Was it the town council or Ballas who came up with those plans?
    Who would have even stay there?
    Who is the real problem here?
    Don’t pay this guy anything, find another way.
    And the same for Mammoth Lakes Land (money) Acquisition,
    Who are they to destroy a town?
    Courts get it wrong sometimes,
    And that is the case here.
    Find another Way,
    Don’t pay.
    Go Mammoth!!!

    • Roger Rilling October 18, 2012 at 8:37 pm #

      MJA– you need to study and understand the history of this problem. I personally am tired of your ignorance.

  17. Water Cooler Joe October 18, 2012 at 2:57 pm #

    With schools singing the blues about cutbacks of teachers etc., I find it amazing to see how many administrative support staff there are when I walk into my kid’s school office. I think janitors and teachers earn there keep but it sure seems like a lot of excess fluff floating around campus. Government offices in general have the same appearance so I would suggest looking at the top first. Let the big boss sharpen his own pencils and answer the phone once in awhile.

  18. Dingo October 18, 2012 at 3:11 pm #

    No freaking wonder the Town of Mammoth is broke, we pay our Town pencil pushers WAY TOO DANG MUCH!
    I’m speechless!!

  19. Trouble October 18, 2012 at 7:27 pm #

    Dingo- I feel like you sometimes, but I don’t think it’s the guy making 60 grand and a pension destroying our economy . It’s the guys on top making 50 times more, for the same 40 hours ,that is destroying the balance of our economy.

    • Big AL October 18, 2012 at 10:14 pm #


    • Haves and have mores October 19, 2012 at 5:34 am #

      Tell that to half the country that believes the wealthiest should be calling the shots for the rest.
      Any attempt to even the playing field economically has cleverly been construed as Liberalism and/or communism.

      • Trouble October 19, 2012 at 5:28 pm #

        Totally agree, something to be said for unions for the blue collar guys.

    • Dingo October 19, 2012 at 7:14 am #

      I agree Trouble, I should have been more specific.


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