At the Tuesday, March 13 Mono County Board of Supervisors meeting, County Counsel Marshall Rudolph said the County had received a letter from the Town of Mammoth asking if the County would like to participate in mediation talks regarding the fallout from the Mammoth Lakes Land Acquisition settlement.
“This is a required step before filing for municipal bankruptcy,” Rudolph explained. “The Town is starting the process.”
The County has been given the option to participate in the talks because it is a vendor to the Town. The County has 10 days to decide if it wants to participate. Rudolph planned to check with the Town to see when that clock started. The Board agreed to put a discussion of the topic on its agenda for its March 20 meeting, and left it to Rudolph’s discretion to determine whether or not the item should be discussed in closed session.
Mammoth Lakes Town Manager Dave Wilbrecht conceded that yes, the Town had sent the mediation letter to the County.
“We have many creditors we work with,” Wilbrecht said. “State law mandates that we go to mediation with our creditors before filing for bankruptcy.”
Wilbrecht said that the County is one of about 40 Town creditors. He added that the creditors, including MLLA, do not have to participate in mediation, but the Town does have to send the letters.
The County provides Animal Control, joint GIS and Sheriff’s Department services to the Town.
At Thursday’s Town/County Liaison meeting, Town representatives stated that they wanted the County to come to the table.
“I want everyone at the table staring at MLLA,” said Councilmember Rick Wood. Of course, that would only happen if MLLA shows up to mediation. They have yet to agree according to the Town.
Mediation can go a maximum of 90 days, according to Rudolph.
Later in the meeting, during Board reports, Supervisor Vikki Bauer asked that the Board review the County’s support of Mammoth’s Fourth of July celebration to see if it should contribute more this year.
“We help Bridgeport a lot,” she said in comparison.