Privately, many call her “Triple M” and criticize her management style that led to painful job cuts and fear among employees, but Town Manager Marianna Marysheva-Martinez says she has dealt with the major financial issues of the Town as best she could and now focuses on employee and citizen relations.
At the last Town Council meeting, Martinez stood up to say that Mammoth “has an excellent staff.” She said issues in the Town of Mammoth are the same as those in very large cities. Martinez pointed to the economy as the underlying problem, not the employees. Critics of Town government have pointed to what they see as high salaries and an expensive bureaucracy. Martinez said once the economy improves, “we won’t have these discussions.”
The Town Manager defended her decision to hire a Community and Economic Development Director. She said, “We can’t sit on our hands.” She said the Community and Economic Development Director will come to Mammoth with experience on how to keep existing businesses and attract new ones. Martinez said the money to pay the $226,000 cost for the new director will come from the unfilled Assistant Town Manager position. She also pointed to the expanded internet service under Digital 395 and the fact that Mammoth has private land that could be used by business.
Martinez said she believes what is lacking is “communication with businesses. Based on comments I have heard,” she said, “it’s clear that it’s a mystery what’s in our budget.”
The Town Manager said she has made it her “personal responsibility to walk business to business and get their ideas.” She emphasized that it is not helpful to question and criticize what the staff does. She said, “This doesn’t help morale. Everyone has taken salary reductions of 10 to 20%. We need to celebrate them.”
In response to an admitted and serious morale problem among Town employees, Martinez has made it a point to bring workers for introductions at Town Council meetings and to defend their efforts. Another human touch from Martinez at the last meeting – her 3 1/2 year old twins, Tolik and Marisha, led the pledge of allegiance. Community members, she had said, would take part in that meeting ritual in the future.