Third closed session on town manager

mltc1_23Although no one will say it publicly, a series of three closed sessions held by the Mammoth Town Council indicates that Town Manager Dave Wilbrecht is leaving. Some Mammoth people say they wish the shake-ups would stop. Another closed session was set for Monday.

When asked about this last week, Mayor Matthew Lehman said, “I can’t comment on anything right now.”  Mayor Pro Tem Rick Wood responded to questions about Wilbrecht leaving when he said, “I can’t confirm or deny this.  It’s up to him.”  The Town Manager has not returned our phone calls.

Last week the subject of the closed sessions was initially evaluation of the Town Manager.  The next session agenda said the Council would consider appointment of a Town Manager. That agenda also said the Council would hold a conference to “consider discipline/ dismissal/ release of a public employee.”

That is the same language in yet another closed session scheduled for Monday at 5pm.  Asked if Mr. Wilbrecht would attend Monday’s closed session, Mayor Lehman said he did not believe so – just the Council and their lawyer.

The restructuring of town government, as Councilman Wood said, has created a lot of anxiety. Changes have also put pressures on Wilbrecht and Assistant Town Manager Marianna Marysheva Martinez.  They advocated many unpopular personnel and service cuts to balance the budget and make annual $2 million debt payments to Mammoth Lakes Land Acquisition.

In the wake of the changes, more employees, including police officers and others, have bailed out of Mammoth town government for other jobs.

37 Responses to Third closed session on town manager

  1. MJA February 6, 2013 at 10:49 am #

    I don’t think spelling is the problem here.
    The real problem is the government of Mammoth Lakes.


  2. Wayne Deja February 5, 2013 at 1:44 pm #

    All these Mammoth people bad-mouthing MMM…..But you got to admit…she’s a cutie !!

    • I want MMM's job February 5, 2013 at 4:05 pm #

      MMM averages 5 days a month in Mammoth.
      That’s FIVE DAYS A MONTH’
      And there are those screaming for Dave Wilbrecht’s head.

      • Ken Warner February 5, 2013 at 7:02 pm #

        You probably don’t know how many hours she spends on analysis at her home office.

        • Mystery after mystery February 5, 2013 at 10:02 pm #

          @ Ken Warner –
          Yeah, right.

      • SkiJohn February 5, 2013 at 9:56 pm #

        Ken, I’m pretty sure you’re being sarcastic, but people do manage to work from home successfully, don’t you agree? Dave has been galavanting around on vacation time (probably looking for a new job) while MMM is at home working. At least I’d like to think…

        • galavanting and working from home February 5, 2013 at 10:10 pm #

          @ SkiJohn –

          And now vacation time legitimately accrued for one, is now construed as “galavanting around” – while carte blanche is given to another to work at home rather than the community they are supposed to be serving … 5 days a month for the last one and one-half years.
          Amazing! Absolutely amazing!

        • Ken Warner February 5, 2013 at 10:31 pm #

          Not sarcastic — serious. Nobody can acquire an understanding of our financial troubles in just 5 days. And there’s no reason she has to do that in the town offices.

          I’ve worked from home a lot — in the past — and for pretty good money — in another era.

          Even if her “steely eyes” scare you, she really is the only one with a real grasp of the towns finances and that shows in all those spread sheets she bores the Town Counsel with. They are bored because it’s too complected for them — I assume without proof.

          This is all just conjecture — I don’t know anything for sure….

        • Have I got a deal for you ... February 6, 2013 at 5:43 am #

          If the town counsel in their infinite wisdom, honestly believes their number-cruncher from Sacramento has had her nose to the grindstone working from home 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, and extra work on weekends (while raising two children at that same home) for the last year and a half – then I have an airport I’d like to sell them.

          • Benett Kessler February 6, 2013 at 9:26 am #

            It’s spelled Council.

          • Spell check February 6, 2013 at 10:11 am #

            Thanks for the free lesson. Perhaps your forte should be in teaching English.
            But a normal town council needs no psychological counseling.
            What we have in Mammoth is a very unstable and power-mad town counsel.

  3. Not A Bureaucrat February 4, 2013 at 9:40 pm #

    There is fault both with Town Council & with the Town Manager. The Town Council recruited him from the County and probably did not do a diligent search for other candidates – it may have not been practical to find a replacement Town Manager at the time. The potential salary offering to an outsider may have had to have been even higher than what was paid to entice a turn-around manager to come up here. Who knows what optimistic projections they gave him and perhaps commitments that MMM would handle the settlement while he ran the routine business of the

    That being said, Wilbrecht has a responsibility to the Town (and the taxpayers) to “come to work” and make the difficult decisions that are, unfortunately, part of this fiscal nightmare. He has the title and the salary, now its time to lead. Being on vacation 38 out of 92 days while the Town grapples with what services to cut is not leadership!

    • Expensive part-time employee February 5, 2013 at 6:17 am #

      @ Not a Bureaucrat –
      You’ve conveniently forgotten that Dave Wilbrecht has been around for over a year and a half – NOT 90 days. Who knows what goes on behind all those closed-door sessions all this time? Do you understand how the system works? Do you realize how much power the counsel has? The way I see it, all the current town counsel has accomplished is to bring in an over-priced outsider to crunch numbers and add more $$$ to the town’s budget. Wouldn’t you like to know just how many days MMM has actually been in Mammoth Lakes “doing her job?” This lady has bamboozled herself into a power position of being perhaps the most expensive part-time town public employee in history.

    • Working from Sacramento? February 5, 2013 at 7:39 am #

      @ Not A Bureaucrat –
      Want to know exactly how many days MMM has actually “come to work” since she first wanted the Town Manager’s job way back when?

  4. CL February 4, 2013 at 1:56 pm #

    Great if he’s leaving and we’re going to save all that money can we have our police department back? Pretty please?

    • Playing people like pawns February 4, 2013 at 7:16 pm #

      Direct that question to your wonderful Town Counsel. They are the people who have orchestrated everything and think they can pawn their mistakes off on At-will people.

  5. getaclue February 4, 2013 at 12:40 pm #

    I am in full agreement that having two Town Managers is ridiculous. The problem I have is the Council is getting rid of the wrong one. Dave has a stake in this community and lives here. The Russian Ice Queen could care less about anything but here paycheck, resume and mansion in Pasadena. She was brought in to negotiate a settlement with the Town and MLLA. The Council praised her for such a great job. Aren’t we are still paying the 40+ million? Send her packing before she bleeds this town dry with the exorbitant salary she will get after they let Dave go. This should make everyone gather at the gates and demand she be run out of town along with the arrogant Council members who think they are above it all. I don’t think there’s another person in the United States that will make as much for doing what she does. Now I can see why the bankruptcy judge wouldn’t allow the town to file.

    • Recall the clowns February 4, 2013 at 7:07 pm #

      Right on, getaclue!
      Good to see some people are not being bamboozled by the Russian Ice Princess.
      Dave did a terrific job with Mono County and everybody knows it. He’s being played as the fall-guy by the Town Counsel inept clowns. I say I’ll sign any recall petition to rid the power-freaks of this town at once!

    • SkiJohn February 4, 2013 at 10:04 pm #

      Wow, Dave really has everyone snowed. I see right through that guy, kissing babies and shaking hands, winning everyone over while he takes a ridiculous amount of vacation and planning strategically for his retirement. Who cares if he lives here and MMM doesn’t? He’s always on vacation so living here is a mute point. He gets paid to leave! Priceless. Yes, MMM doesn’t give people the warm and fuzzies, but she gets s*&^ done while Dave kisses butts. After all, she is Russian so warmth isn’t one of her attributes. I thought everyone on here wanted a manager gone? I’d rather take my chances on someone young and motivated than an old man with one conniving foot out the door.

      • Big shoes to fill February 5, 2013 at 6:04 am #

        @ SkiJohn, what planet do you live on? Anybody that knows Dave and is aware of his At-Will track record (sorry pal, At-Will employees don’t kiss babies – they are at the beck-and-call of those buffoons who wield all the power – your glorious elected officials). You know that type. They try to use their influence to get future son-in-laws employment at the new airport and don’t believe that is a corrupt thing to do. All the power. Dave Wilbrecht’s track record with the county speaks for itself. The inept power-brokers on the Town Counsel know this and drafted him for obvious reasons. MMM appeared on the scene with her Armani suits and in military fashion started her own power climb. Dave does not lead by intimidation and that’s why he was so sucessful with the county.The county is nowhere near bankruptcy thanks to Dave. MMM could not possibly fill his shoes.

  6. Trouble February 3, 2013 at 9:08 pm #

    Benett-I didn’t think anybody worked on Super Bowl Sunday.

    • Benett Kessler February 3, 2013 at 9:28 pm #

      Only those of us who don’t see SBS as a national holiday.

      • Tourbillon February 4, 2013 at 8:51 am #

        When is Super Bowl Sunday? I don’t want to miss it again especially if the Yankees are playing this year.

  7. ferdinand lopez February 3, 2013 at 8:46 pm #

    cortey lawrence for town manager

  8. SkiJohn February 3, 2013 at 8:31 pm #

    It’s about time one of them goes. Should have happened months ago

    • lives2ski February 4, 2013 at 12:46 pm #

      Agreed! Whoever is most qualified to get the job done is fine with me. I don’t care which one is “better liked”. I do think Mr. Wilbrecht went into this job with eyes wide open. I also believe that with his salary/title it should be a given that he is capable of working under duress. I would like to see our Town Manager, as a show of leadership and solidarity with the several employees who have been laid off, take a symbolic pay cut.

      • The Power-Brokers February 4, 2013 at 7:02 pm #

        Once again people are forgetting that it’s the almighty Town Council that is calling all the shots. Rain or shine. They have the power to do what ever they damn well want to. Including cutting salaries or hiring town managers who don’t even live here. Live with this fact.

  9. Turtleneck February 3, 2013 at 7:13 pm #

    Ive heard that with MMM in charge more quality employees will leave. No one wants to work with her. She doesn’t care about Mammoth or its residents. She wants to rake in her giant paycheck, while still living in Pasadena, and continue to go after the hard-working employees who are left. What happened to being the budget guru, shes only made it worse by adding half a million dollars in salary and benefits for her. Word is she’s going to get $7k per week now.

    • Slave to the system February 4, 2013 at 6:42 am #

      Study MMM closely. Notice her icy-cold style. Notice that she is good at crunching numbers and hardly what you may call a “people-person.” These are the slick types that can potentially ruin a fine community overnight. This is a small mountain town – not a Sacramento or Los Angeles. Wilbrecht is unfairly being scapegoated and railroaded. And the councilmen (some who ran unopposed) are calling all the shots and covering their own behinds only.

    • Realist February 4, 2013 at 10:58 am #

      Hope you are right and they leave.
      My hunch is that you are one of those “quality” employees.
      With Wilbrecht only showing up to work about 38 of 92 days Oct-Jan, his example is probably something all those “quality” employees enjoy.
      Of course you don’t like MMM, she makes you work.
      Since We, the tax payers pay your salary, get to work, quit complaining and do something besides moan by the water cooler.
      Two managers is one too many.

      • Delegating is not managing February 4, 2013 at 1:06 pm #

        “MMM makes you work” Realist tells us. If delegating everything under the sun to underlings (and long-distance from Sacramento to boot) or they’ll be fired, is good management, you are a lost soul. This is management by tyranny – not by reality. This slick corporate climber with her Yves Saint Laurent suits, is as ruthless and self-serving as they come. She’s completely bamboozled all the podunk incompetent fools on the council who don’t give a rat’s you know what about the importance of high morale in the workplace and get off on the power.

        • Realist February 4, 2013 at 6:17 pm #

          It was only a hunch…
          Guess it was right.
          Your resentment rings loud in your words.
          Last time I looked up management and getting something done, it meant like you said, delegating or you will be fired.
          Knowing the incompetent job that has been done in the past, what does that do for high morale?
          Tyranny vs Bureaucracy, sounds about right.
          We still have to pay the 49 MILLION DOLLARS.
          If someone gave as you said a “rats you know what” over the past 25 years we would not be in this situation.
          I’ll take tyranny, now get back to work like the rest of us!
          And, don’t get caught writing any more post on the clock.

          • Tyranny??? February 4, 2013 at 6:58 pm #

            @ Realist,
            If you could drop your “hang ’em high! resentment, you would know that if there is any further stupidity from the Mammoth Lakes Town Council (such as a wrongful termination/scapegoating scenario), there will be even more money to pay. And as far as your “tyranny” nonsense, you might as well know that Michelle Bachmann has gone underground.

      • forgetting something February 4, 2013 at 7:36 pm #

        @ Realist,
        You must have forgotten the Dave Wilbrecht has been with the town for over a year and a half – not just 92 days. He also has done a masterful job with the County for almost a decade, has been a exemplorary leader, always glad to work with people who need his help and guidance on the job, hired some great experienced and talented managers, and left the county in good condition.

        Now tell us about YOUR accomplishments, Realist.

        • Realist February 5, 2013 at 11:46 am #

          My CV reads:
          125+ ski days a year for 30 years.
          Skied every peak within 30 miles North and South of here.
          200 powder days I remember like it was yesterday.
          50 Grateful Dead concerts that I can’t remember at all.
          A Wife and Kids that I love.
          And a Community that I adore named Mammoth.
          But this is not about me, or you for that matter.
          It’s about this TOWN, a community that has been milked dry for years and is experiencing transformation.
          Change is in the air, the old Bureaucracy has shot itself in the foot and wants us to pay for its medical bills.
          NO MORE!
          That house of cards is about to fall.

      • Working from Sacramento? February 5, 2013 at 7:21 am #

        Isn’t that interesting how nobody has yet mentioned the actual time MMM has spent in our town “making people work” as Realist points out?
        I wonder why that is?

        • Nice part-time work February 5, 2013 at 4:09 pm #

          In the last year and a half, MMM’s average time on the job has been 5 days a month.
          Look it up for yourself


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