Some see “threat” of outsourcing Town of Mammoth jobs

mammothtownofficesAccording to informed sources outside town government, Mammoth Town Manager Dave Wilbrecht sent a letter to the Town Employees group that some call a thinly veiled threat to outsource Town jobs unless workers give up a lot more money. The point of threat is a paragraph that says basically that if employees agree on “sustainable savings”, contracting out their jobs may not be necessary.

Wilbrecht’s letter invites employees to meet with him as soon as possible to identify additional cost savings – reduction of salaries, benefits and greater contributions to pensions by employees.

The Town Employees Group, which is represented by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, has a signed contract with the Town of Mammoth through 2016. In the last four or five years, workers have made several amendments to their contract to reduce salaries and make their own payments into pensions resulting in cuts of more than 20%.

Town Administrative Services Director Marianna Marysheva-Martinez had mentioned the potential for outsourcing jobs in her repeated discussions over the past few months on restructuring Town government to balance the budget and make $2 million annual payments to MLLA.

But the concept of outsourcing government jobs has come under serious scrutiny by the courts. In late November, the California Supreme Court ruled against the City of Costa Mesa’s attempt to lay off more than 100 city employees and outsource their jobs to the private sector. According to reports, the Costa Mesa City Council majority sent out more than 200 pink slips as part of a plan to privatize city services. From Superior Court to Appellate Court and finally the California Supreme Court, judges rejected the City’s request to overturn an injunction blocking their outsourcing efforts.

Asked to comment on reports that some see Wilbrecht’s letter as a threat to outsource town jobs, Administrative Services Director Martinez said, “I can see why they might see it that way. We want to be as open as possible within contract negotiations.” Martinez said that outsourcing is a matter of legality and common sense and that the Town has to work closely with the employees association.

She said the Town ultimately has two goals – to achieve the lowest per employee cost and the most efficient services. Martinez said, “If we can achieve this by working with the association and not outsourcing, I don’t see why we would outsource.” She said the employees have already proved to be creative and willing to work with management.

When asked how the Town can even discuss outsourcing when employees have a signed contract to 2016, Martinez said discussions need to take place. She said, “We need to look at expenses. We are aware of the legal boundaries.” Martinez said management would meet with workers later this week. She said there would be a “roundtable discussion with workers and local partners regarding volunteer programs and outsourcing – ways to reduce costs.”

Martinez said the Town needs to discuss with employees and the public what services should be candidates for outsourcing and then do further research. She repeated, “I understand the employees’ fear. We’re trying to develop a process for all to participate in to re-shape the community.”

Behind the scenes, some workers and members of the public point to Martinez’s new contract which officials have now confirmed costs roughly $245,000 per year while at the same time workers are asked to give up more.

The Town Council plans to vote on the re-structuring plan that includes the cuts of employee positions and other items when they meet Wednesday night. Martinez said in later phases of the re-structuring, officials will look at “alternate service delivery models.” She said this assumes the number of workers at that point would remain the same. Said Martinez, “The only way out is to reduce costs.”


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12 Responses to Some see “threat” of outsourcing Town of Mammoth jobs

  1. WE the Town citizens declare war December 4, 2012 at 7:56 pm #

    Ok That the last straw Mr. Wilbrect. You , Tripple M , and Watson ( no offense as I like your work and attitude) are not taking any cuts and yet you continue to harass the basic working staff. Out with you.

    Why don’t you all take at least a 25% cut, You too Jarvis, and Hennarty , We need to kill some of the stipends that some get for housing and cars. Otherwise we as Joe public need to run you and the rest out of this town.

    The free ride It’s over Wilbrect. As soon as I can I will be getting together with others and do what ever is necessary in order to get you out with the rest of the Town Council that condone your methods. In my opinion you are unethical and a outright a fraud.

    • In tough times ... December 5, 2012 at 6:24 am #

      Ever thought of leading by example?
      In tough times, City Managers should be the first to offer to reduce their paychecks before expecting everyone else to reduce theirs.
      Ever hear of Narcissistic personality disorder? These types are so into themselves, they believe they can do whatever they want and feel entitled to whatever amount of money they can get.

    • So, where's the petition? December 5, 2012 at 9:05 am #

      Everyone bitches.
      Nobody takes action.

      • How to recall Councilmen December 5, 2012 at 10:57 am #

        1. Submit the proper notifications. You’ll have to publish something saying you’re going to recall a city council member, have the notice served on the council member and give him a chance to respond.

        2. Determine the length of time the city council member has been in office. Most states require at least 120 days of service if not 6 months or longer.

        3. Explain why you want to recall the city council member. Many states have stated reasons a city council member can be recalled and your explanation must fit one of those categories.

        4. Get the appropriate number of signatures. A recall will require a petition signed by a certain number of registered voters. Go door-to-door, start a website or phone campaign to get the number of signatures you need to recall a city council member.

        5. Use the allotted time wisely. You’ll only have a certain amount of time to collect signatures-usually 60 days or more-so use that time to your advantage to get the signatures you need.

        Read more: How to Recall a City Council Member |

  2. NoRestForTheSHADY December 4, 2012 at 8:23 pm #

    Scare tactics and threats are nothing new to Wilbrecht or MMM. If they were both as good at budgeting and making decisions as they are at making threats, the Town would doing great. Of course, neither of their jobs will be part of the outsourcing discussion nor will they take a cut in pay or benefits, just like the last round of cuts where employees took cuts and neither of them did. And no matter what Wilbrecht says, that is a fact.

  3. June Lover December 4, 2012 at 9:02 pm #

    I am sorry, but did I miss something? I don’t see where the Town Mgr mentioned reducing his salary and/or that of MMM. The town council really is out of control. Looking from the outside I think 1)the citizens need to start the recall process and 2)The town mgt is shooting themselves in the foot treating people like this. You already signed an agreement with the employees until 2016. Do you not realize people can’t work for free?

    With this horrible track record the town will definitely have issues recruiting and retaining good employees. I smell ore lawsuits in the future for TOML.

  4. MJA December 4, 2012 at 9:32 pm #

    Wouldn’t bankruptcy have avoided all of this?


    • Reality Check December 5, 2012 at 10:33 am #

      The judge would not allow Bankruptcy and forced the parties to settle. Bankruptcy was not an option.

      • MJA December 6, 2012 at 12:43 am #

        I think it still is an option.


  5. firsttime December 4, 2012 at 10:26 pm #

    Cut the bottom,feed the top

  6. Malcolm Reed December 5, 2012 at 2:25 am #

    Software outsourcing is that some IT companies in developed countries outsource IT work to low-cost destinations, like U.S or India, in order to reduce their software development costs.

  7. Disgusted! December 5, 2012 at 10:02 am #

    Wilbrecht’s “threat” is real, not just idly perceived.

    His restructuring plan already includes outsourcing the job of the Town’s one and only IT employee to a local contractor. And, if (or is it when) the five Pontius Pilates on the Town Council approve Wilbrecht’s plan tonight, he’ll no doubt immediately “outsource” this employee, who’s given the Town 10 years of his life on the job, in order to scare the bejeezus out of the rest of the employees.

    When is the Town Council going to face up to the fact that the only technique in Wilbrecht’s management repertoire seems to be to repeatedly demean the Town’s non-management employees, painting them as being overpaid and overbenefited? Or is this just what the Town Council wants and is only too happy to pay him and his willing accomplice the blood money they demand?


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