Council retains Town Manager
Mammoth Lakes Town Council decided to keep its Town Manager following a personnel evaluation conducted in closed session on Tuesday, October 25.
Council called for the meeting following a story published in this paper last week which revealed that Holler had proposed a contract between the Town and a personal friend of Holler’s named Keith Davies who rents property from him in Grass Valley.
Holler had not revealed the nature of his conflict of interest to Council or to the panel which had interviewed Davies for a position as Special Events Director for the Town.
Mayor Shields Richardson reported out of closed session that Council directed Holler to report the incident to the State’s Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC).
The Sheet interviewed two members of the interview panel this week, John Morris and Brent Truax.
Morris said, “I didn’t know the specifics of their relationship (Holler and Davies). I knew they knew each other, but didn’t know to what extent.”
Morris affirmed that there were two finalists interviewed for the position: Davies and a well-known local person with extensive event management experience.
The panel, said Morris, determined that the best course of action would be not to choose between the two, because they seemed to have complementary skill sets.
In his interview, Davies, according to Morris, acknowledged that he would be hard-pressed to divide up local events dollars without really knowing the players or the community.
As Morris understood it, the idea was to get the two finalists together, and if they thought they could work together, then the Town could go back to Mammoth Lakes Tourism and Mammoth Lakes Recreation and ask for more money and perhaps create a larger position.
Morris said the panel felt that if it had to choose, the local applicant might offer better value.
Which is in direct contrast to what Brent Truax remembers.
Truax said he sat on the panel as a representative of the Chamber of Commerce. He said Davies came in with a 20-page binder report and presentation outlining many projects/events he’d like to do. “I felt Keith was more of a visionary,” said Truax.
“If I were to take one, I’d have taken Keith because he came ready to do business.”
“We suggested,” added Truax, “though we had no authority, an expanded position [including both candidates] with perhaps additional funding through Mammoth Lakes Tourism.”