Just when you think you’ve got it all figured out … along comes another $1.7 million oversight.
Interim Town Manager MMMartinez announced at the May 4 Mammoth Lakes Town Council meeting that the Town is on the hook for $1.7 million in future insurance premium obligations due the JPIA (Joint Powers Insurance Authority), the total due by 2015.
The Town is enrolled in two JPIA programs for worker’s compensation and general liability.
Within the past few years, JPIA decided to change the way it calculated premiums.
According to MMMartinez, these premiums had formerly been calculated on an eight year rolling average with a limit as to how much the premium would increase each year.
Problem is that the limitation on the increase did not keep pace with the actual obligation.
So year after year, we would fall a little further behind. Not just us but every one of JPIA’s members. And JPIA was alright with it for a time because it had a strong cash position.
The Great Recession changed that.
JPIA could no longer afford to act as its’ members credit card, fronting their obligations.
So a year ago, they told members it was time to settle up.
Sheet: Did Rob Clark and Brad Koehn know about this?
MMM: I haven’t talked to them. I can’t say. But JPIA did tell the Town that this “deferral” would take place.
Hmm. I never heard anything about a deferral from Koehn or Clark in any budget discussion. This never came up. Councilmembers expressed no reaction last week, which means they were either a.) dumbfounded, or b.) too busy wondering how the Lakers were doing.
The upshot: The Town owes $1.1 million in deferred general liability obligations, due in 2013, and about $600,000 in deferred worker’s comp liability, due in 2015.
MMMartinez hopes to establish a five-year payment plan at about $350,000/year to pay off the debt.
Rob Clark responded to my query via email today. “I have referred your inquiry to Marianna since she is now the spokesperson for the Town and I know she has access to all the information necessary to respond.”
I received no response from Koehn.
Heard word that 80|50 is considering moving forward with Building C, so I called iStar Financial’s corporate office in Boston, Mass. to find out the scoop and spoke with Executive V.P. Michael Dorsch.
Dorsch acknowledged that he has had conversations with the Town’s Community Development Dept. but would not confirm whether or not iStar wished to abandon its fractional sales model and sell Building C as “whole ownership” units.
iStar is also the owner of the Mammoth Crossing property, but Dorsch said any decisions regarding the Crossings are “further away” than Building C.
He said iStar is committed long-term to Mammoth Lakes.
Kirkner says she is running the 100th annual Bay to Breakers race in San Francisco this weekend. Also in the field: Meb Keflezighi. Anyone want to wager?
Recognizing the Ambassadors
During the past several weeks, the Mammoth Lakes Chamber of Commerce has recognized several members of the local community for their extra efforts as part of Mammoth’s Ambassador Program.
Every week I’ve somehow managed to overlook or not include these press releases, so this week, we’re gonna do it all in one shot. Without further adieu, those who have been recognized include:
Brett Burns from Whiskey Creek in Mammoth, who went the extra mile when he noticed a group of lunch customers standing in front of a snow-covered entrance. Brett grabbed some ice melt and a shovel and cleared the area as he greeted the guests with a smile and made them feel welcome, showing foresight and initiative.
Kurt Snyder from Convict Lake Restaurant provided a recent group of five patrons with excellent and friendly service. His personal touch went so far as to provide an entertaining and informative story that added enjoyment to the customers’ evening.
Jorge Espitia is a Front Desk Supervisor at the Sierra Nevada Lodge. He recently helped the North Island Ski Club find proper parking spots in town, and the group wasn’t even staying at his hotel. Espitia offered parking at the Lodge and gave them detailed instructions about how the find the building, including his cell number, going out of his way to make sure this group had a successful Mammoth experience.
Annaliesa Baker brings impressive service and knowledge to the popular Booky Joint in Mammoth. A big smile and pleasant, engaging conversation, not to mention how much she knows about the iPad and other nerd-like things such as eBooks, make her a fine example of a Mammoth Ambassador.
Tom “TK” Kearns is a sales professional at Footloose Sports with 32 years of experience in Mammoth. His unflagging enthusiasm, energy and wealth of knowledge about products, and the area’s trails and peaks are invaluable. Customers always find it a pleasure to talk with TK.
Karen Kasten alternates between Vons and the Java Joint, but shares her kindness, warm smile and gift for serving the community equally with both jobs. Whether walking a customer down the aisle to find a product, or knowing her customers by name as well as the their favorite coffee beverage, Kasten’s a star.
Andrew Sochinski is a server at Rafters, who made a Mother’s Day brunch exceptional when one mom asked for hot water for a baby’s bottle and he returned in an instant with the just the right amount of water at the proper temperature, adding another reason to celebrate Mom’s special day.
Luciano (Lou) Deleon is a sales associate at Kittredge Sports, who puts additional effort and energy into every customer transaction and encounter. In a time of year when there is a lot of burnout in our community, Lou never tires and steps up to the plate to make customers feel like his friend and that they’re right at home.
Ron Segura, a valet/bellman at the Westin Monache, keeps his standard for service really high. One guest had just gone through knee surgery, but when they pulled up to the front door, Ron was ready and waiting, helping the guest and wanting to know how the accident happened. His caring and compassion manner goes a long way with his guests and he knows it
Mike Fiebiger of the Alpine Garage in Mammoth Lakes is well known to The Sheet staff, as he cares for our fleet of vehicles. Following in the footsteps of father Dieter, he always goes the extra mile for his customers. If you can’t move your car, he’ll come get it. If it’s an emergency, he and his five best guys will be right on it. Fiebiger’s earned Alpine a long-standing reputation for reliable, high quality service at a fair price.
Jesus Laguna, Manager of Giovanni’s Italian Restaurant, recently hosted a group of local teachers. One of the group needed a special pizza due to food allergies, and Jesus was more than happy to meet her needs, and personally worked with the staff to ensure accurate preparation and delivery of the special order.
Otis Hein, a bartender at Angel’s restaurant, is a great example of grace under pressure. He was working the night of the recent Mammoth Lakes Police Department fundraiser — a very busy evening at the bar — and still managed to recognize and acknowledge customers, while keeping the orders timely and accurate despite the crowds.
John Bitzberger, a Mammoth Mountain Ski Patroller, recently helped a guest who was injured skiing, though not serious enough to require treatment at the hospital. Later in the day, the guest needed a wheelchair and a ride to his condo, and was unable to contact his group. Bitzberger took the guest in his own vehicle to the condo, and made a difficult situation easy by making the right call.
Ivan Eduardo Bramona Fierro is a master sandwich builder at Schat’s Bakery in Mammoth. Patient and enthusiastic while helping customers explore their options, he also never fails to suggest an appropriate cookie to top things off. Now that’s attention to detail!