MLLA reveals more of case against Mammoth

In a motion to object to Mammoth Lakes’ wish for a speedy bankrkuptcy, Mammoth Lakes Land Acquisition claims the Town lacks any emergency, failed to consider the last offer made by MLLA and failed to make a settlement offer or any payment to MLLA.

Mammoth owes MLLA $43 million,  and MLLA has begun to lay out its case against the Town’s attempt to enter bankruptcy. MLLA lawyers say that the Town has ignored MLLA’s 30-year payment plan offer and is “trying to punish MLLA for winning” the first lawsuit. The court brief says, “Municipalities are not supposed to have axes to grind.” Lawyers allege that the Town is seeking retribution and that this is at the heart of the whole case.

MLLA points to the appellate court decision against Mammoth in which the judges described Town employees’ attempts to get rid of the Hot Creek project, in breach of the development agreement.

Then the attorneys described an incident last fall. They say MLLA representatives inquired if the Town could access nearly $4.4 million from the Town’s Vehicle Replacement Fund to make an initial payment to MLLA. The brief says Town staff thought the funds were restricted, found out they weren’t and then used the nearly $4.4 million to pre-fund legal fees for two law firms and a financial advisor, among other Town costs. MLLA says, “Bluntly put, the Town played ‘keep away’ from MLLA by giving large retainers to its law firms and financial advisors.”

MLLA also claims that as a result of working with Town staff to identify available money, the two sides “reached consensus that the Town had at least nearly $5 million per year in discretionary spending that could be used to pay installments on the judgment.”

Attorneys for MLLA and Mammoth will sit down in court-ordered mediation sessions scheduled for August 6 and 7 in Southern California. MLLA will file its objections to Mammoth’s bankruptcy August 24th. So far, no date has been set for Mammoth’s bankruptcy eligibility hearing.



11 Responses to MLLA reveals more of case against Mammoth

  1. Fed Up July 26, 2012 at 2:26 pm #

    The town is allowed to spend it’s money on it’s lawyers to deal with MLLA that is a fact. Just because there was some money a few months ago does not make it enough for MLLA. They payout needs to be sustainable, appropriate and acceptable. TOML is not going to enter into an agreement that it can only make one payment to. The reality is that even in good times the payoff to MLLA is too great for the average yearly budget for the TOML. No matter what shenanigans I dislike about the town the payoff is not sustainable bonding and tax measures set aside.

    TOML still has the obligation to provide for public safety.

    Now if TOML is hiding money then there may be a price to pay.

    • Ken Warner July 26, 2012 at 8:30 pm #

      I think that TOML should just give the airport to MLLA. In fact, I’d pay them to take it away.

      • Reality Check July 27, 2012 at 8:28 pm #

        Ken, MLLA has already stated that they want money, not property.

  2. Mark July 26, 2012 at 2:47 pm #

    Good argument, TOML’S going to get spanked again.

  3. Dogs Bone July 26, 2012 at 3:55 pm #

    Typical… everyone knows the town was playing games the whole time and never had any real intentions to solve this ongoing battle. Like the previous person said, they will get spanked again. Im not sure what MMM thinks playing games is going to do in the long run. ML will be called out by the judge and they will be forced to deal with the BS they have dealt.

    From the incompetent Rusty to the bafoons on council, that town, the town that Dave built, is going to go down in flames.

    Funny thing is, they will keep the flights, but i predict another drop in enplanements for this next winter as less people head up there.

    As a socal resident, im going to hop on a plane to ski Utah, Tahoe, and others before flying to a wasted town, with no town infrastructure and no real village, and no one who knows what they are doing at the ski hill.

    • kaat July 26, 2012 at 7:04 pm #

      Stu ????? Where is Mammoth Lake’s PR guy when we need him!!!!! 🙂

  4. MJA July 26, 2012 at 8:57 pm #

    Surely if Balas had built his Shangrala at the airport it would have been a total loss (especially in this economy) and he would be the one filling bankruptcy not Mammoth. Rather than the town owing him anything i think Ballas owes he town a thank you and that about it.

    = .

    • Fed Up July 27, 2012 at 10:03 am #

      Well you are correct about the Ballas project being a potential failure. But due to the complete incompetence of the town and it’s million dollar Attorneys did not argue the viability or actual revenue of the project. This was according to the Appellate courts decision.

  5. cat July 26, 2012 at 9:30 pm #

    TOML files for bankruptcy protection but has been spending millions on what they deem appropriate over the last year. They have emergency meetings to sustain air flights at the tax payers expense. They completed a bit of trimming but not very much at that.

    There is no point. The town is going to continue screw this up! Maybe we should elect Tommy Cage to save us

  6. Observer July 27, 2012 at 10:27 am #

    The TOML can’t protect discretionary spending by filing for bankruptcy. Hopefully the federal mediator can talk some sense into them (and maybe lower MLLA’s expectations, too), and facilitate a negotiated settlement at the upcoming mediation sessions.

  7. bert4 July 27, 2012 at 2:44 pm #

    How long before MLLA twigs onto the fact that if the TOML can “loan” itself money (to subsidize air service) from what were supposed to be segregated funds, it is not quite so bankrupt as thought?


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