Town Manager says public debate not yet timely


Mammoth Town Manager Dave Wilbrecht

Now is not the time for public discussion.  That’s what Mammoth officials say about negotiations with Mammoth Lakes Land Acquisition over their $42 million debt against the Town of Mammoth.

Town Manager Dave Wilbrecht, who has participated in private talks and negotiations with MLLA officials, told Sierra Wave that in terms of a time line, now is not the time for public conversation.  He does expect that time to arrive in November or December.

The Town Manager said that what officials do not want is to have MLLA negotiate with the public.  “It would be problematic for this to be out in the public right now,” said Wilbrecht.  He said this could lead to no agreement at all.

Wilbrecht did say that the goal is to arrive at public debate on whatever settlement comes up.  He said that the Town Council will ultimately go to the public. The Town Manager also said that members of the Town Council are very cognizant of the public’s thoughts.

Wilbrecht recommended that members of the Mammoth public communicate any thoughts on the debt to a Town Council person.  The Council continues to give closed session directions to negotiators.


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15 Responses to Town Manager says public debate not yet timely

  1. Ken Warner October 29, 2011 at 10:30 am #

    Just give the damn airport to MLLA and walk away. We don’t need to fund an airport so that MMSA can fly in prospective buyers for it’s property developments. Let MMSA and MLLA work out a deal.

    Why is the town even involved in this anymore. It’s been an albatross around our neck for a decade…..

    • Reality Check October 29, 2011 at 8:47 pm #

      They don’t want land, they want cash.

      You can bet that giving them the Airport and the Bell Shaped Parcel was the first thing the town offered. Would you want the Airport?

  2. Ken Warner October 29, 2011 at 10:45 am #

    I did a quick calculation on the debt to MLLA. I figured a $42,000,000 (forty two million) principle at 5% interest (that’s pretty low) for 20 years of payments.

    The result is about $277,000 a month for twenty years. That’s over $3,000,000 (three million) a year for 20 years or over $60,000,000 (sixty million dollars).

    Now where in Hell is Mammoth Lakes going to get sixty million spare dollars? And what would sixty million dollars buy the town? A nice Olympic size swimming facility. A real year round ice rink. A whole lot of trails and bike paths. Job security for all the town workers.

    Is the airport really worth that much? You think the airport is going to bring in more than three million dollars a year for the next 20 years?

    This is just crazy…..

  3. P&B October 29, 2011 at 1:22 pm #

    Typical Mammoth city government using the political method of hiding until someone else is on the hook. With the $4000.00 per week consultant “still working” on the settlement (with no projected end in sight) it fits current town leadership style (or lack thereof) to a “T”.

    In that past town government created this mess by “hiding the facts” until it was too late (although they couldn’t hide it from the court system), why wouldn’t following the same tact work just as well today?!?! (sarcasm)

    The people need to be involved in all processes, discussions, and decisions, (rather than using the “closed door meeting tactic” at leasure over and over – not why the Brown Act was instituted) especially when their elected officials repeatedly (and predictably) let them down – especially in small communities where 1 vote can change the elected roster! (Please note the subtle hint of why electing the same people over and over is a demonstration of repeated failure – look at Mammoth’s, Mono County’s, and Inyo County’s history in elections – they are not alone…..)

  4. Bobbie Lee Swagger October 29, 2011 at 7:39 pm #

    Yes, the town has done such a good job hitherto in it’s dealing with MLLA I can see why it would not want the public involved.

  5. MotherNature October 29, 2011 at 8:12 pm #

    “In terms of a time line, now is NOT the time for public conversation…”

    Boy, did we hire the wrong guy for the job.

    How many hours does it take?

    This is how a negotiation goes:

    It takes about a day if you know what your goals are.

    If you can’t do that, the purpose of bankruptcy is to give a “fresh start” to good, honest, hard-working debtor.

    Emphasis on the HONEST part.

    The purpose of the bankruptcy act is to relieve the honest debtor from the weight of oppressive indebtedness and permit a fresh start free of the obligations and responsibilities of business misfortunes.

    Your actions have kneecapped our beloved community. Things aren’t exactly thriving here. Check the number of bank repossessions and businesses that are out-of-business since the airport debacle.

    These people put faith in you and lost everything.

    The Wolves are watching the Hen House in Mammoth and they are the only ones making money. Who is oppressed and who will benefit from a long drawn out NEGOTIATION.

    MMM and Wilbrecht should cut to the chase. Don’t make excuses. Do the job you were hired to do in a timely manner.

    • P&B October 31, 2011 at 1:52 pm #

      “Emphasis on the HONEST part.” Sadly this outdated moral concept (honesty) is not a part of any dialogue with the public on the part of government officials or the “front men/women” they hire to take the hit for their poor decisions.

      Also sadly, some debts are not discharged via bankruptcy such as court judgements against government jurisdictions and at this point excuses are all that remain in the elected officials “bag of tricks”. Ultimately the town of Mammoth has already suffered greatly based on the number of people out of a job to “balance the budget” while at the same time the part time 3M and town manager drag this out for a combined wage exceeding $9000.00 per week. Just think how many hard working productive tax-paying people could be employed for the amount these two have been paid to date?!?

      How is this good money management on the part of the elected officials? These are the same money managers that are making “close door decisions” because “In terms of a time line, now is NOT the time for public conversation…” as the front man hides in plain site….

      Public conversation is definitely needed to focus a bright honest light on the shady decisions that continue to drive the political environment of the town. Time for the affected electorate to make a change with the people that continue to throw their money away on people that are not interested in “doing their job” but only “keeping their job” regardless of how many people are hurt by their actions.

  6. Friar Tuck October 30, 2011 at 4:18 am #

    I am not asking for a debate, discussion or to advise the town council. I am exercising my first amendment right of petitioning a governmental redress of my grievances. I am using the freedom of the press to make these grievances known.

    If LLAC was able to purchase the rights to a 42 million and growing law suit, how much politician do you think they can buy? I am making it known that I am requesting bankruptcy rather than trust the politicians negotiators to make a deal that is in the best interest of the Mammoth residents and its property owners.

    As stated before by others, the business interest control the cash in this town, The cash controls the politicians.We all know that they like Moses, go to the mountain for their divine guidance, that’s how we landed up picking up the tab for this lawsuit while MMSA slipped out the back door. Our only hope is to demand a third party, as in a bankruptcy judge to look out for our best interest.

    Tax money intended to be used for the good of the public is being siphoned off for private business purposes in order to promote the town and it’s business. The airport was one of these promotions for private business to prosper, paid for with public funds. This lawsuit is the greatest example of this misuse of power and funds going bad, it needs to be stopped now! A department of justice investigation into this matter is long over due.

    The town manager doesn’t dictate who or what will be debated or asked here, that would be a civil rights violation and grounds for another law suit. Could he be that dumb or is he counting on us and the press not to ask the tough questions? Is it because it doesn’t meet the negotiating timetable or is extracting every possible dollar possible during this process the real goal ? Converting public money to private seems what these town leaders do best.

  7. upthecreek October 30, 2011 at 7:56 am #

    Mammoth town council has create the debt monster.
    Wake me up when it is over.

    Recall them all and give the mammoth monster the airport.
    Happy Holloween

    • Rob October 31, 2011 at 11:03 am #

      Did they even say they wanted the airport? I would think not.

  8. Wayne Deja October 30, 2011 at 3:20 pm #

    Can see it now…The year 2023…..A bus full of tourists,and the guide on the microphone..”Ladies and gentlemen,we are now turning onto HWY.203,please get your cameras ready,in 3 miles we will be entering the GHOST TOWN of Mammoth Lakes”.

  9. Home girl October 31, 2011 at 10:33 am #

    It is my understanding that our BOS has promised 200,000.00 of subsidy money (OUR MONEY) to continue with this airport fiasco. Aren’t we sick of throwing good money after bad. That amount could be wrong, but I don’t think so. This is going to extend county wide, you watch.

  10. Ken Warner October 31, 2011 at 11:45 am #

    “They don’t want land, they want cash. ”

    “Did they even say they wanted the airport? I would think not.”


    We say, “Take the airport or we declare bankruptcy and then you get pennies on the dollar.”

    That’s what I’d do…..

  11. Tourbillon October 31, 2011 at 3:31 pm #

    “The Town Manager said that what officials do not want is to have MLLA negotiate with the public. “It would be problematic for this to be out in the public right now,” said Wilbrecht.”

    Translation: “I know full well MLLA doesn’t have the time or inclination to negotiate with the public, whatever the heck that means. What I really mean is the public is a damned nuisance. When we want your input, we’ll tell you what the right answer is. Until then, shut up, leave your money at the door, and go away.”

  12. upthecreek October 31, 2011 at 5:08 pm #

    Remind me why and how the people on the ML Town council are still on the town council??????????..
    Recall them ALL

    “A Nation of Sheep Breeds a Government of Wolves!”


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