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Marianna Marysheva-Martinez

April 20, 2012

We learned this past week that Assistant Town Manager Marianna Marysheva-Marysheva-Matinez is a finalist for the City Manager job in Yakima, Wash.

Yakima?

But who could blame her? If there’s somewhere with a massive financial problem, or even one that needs a little housecleaning, Marysheva-Martinez licks her chops and goes to work.

This is a professional fixer with the ability to control her mind rather letting it control her. She’s a woman with a plan. She’s calm in terrifying situations.

No place we know of has been more terrifying than Mammoth recently.

When she arrived as interim town manager, Town Hall’s finances were in somewhat of a mess, and that’s a charitable characterization.

It wasn’t just the layoffs. That was bad enough.

But as important, she encountered a town government whose finances were all over the place, the result of years of largesse. It was as if the money seemed to roll in the door, as if in a wave.

“If we had a project, we’d just reach into the bucket and pull the money out,” one town department manager said the other day.

In the end, the bookkeeping was so far out of whack that nobody knew how to fix it when times got tough.

That’s when Marysheva-Martinez walked through the door, fresh from financial battles in one of the most battle-weary cities in the state: Oakland.

Soon after she arrived, she called on each department manager, and it was tough.

One of them came stumbling out the door and into the parking lot in those first days and said, “I feel like I just got beat up.”

Yet she put Mammoth’s financial house in order, just in time to handle a serious budget shortfall for this year and next. She also has been the town’s point person on how to handle the MLLA $42 million judgment that is about to land in our laps.

Not once did she sugarcoat anything. As painful as this has been, Marysheva-Martinez has been a straight shooter, as town Manager Dave Wilbert knows.

He is among many who have their fingers crossed that the Yakima job will fall through.

 “There’s a lot of work that is in progress now,” he said after a Town Council meeting on Wednesday, and there will still be a lot of work to do with the budget and through the mediation and through the lawsuit, so it’s my hope she can stay and work with us for another year.”

Over here at the paper, we’re down with Dave on this one.

He expressed her strength better than we could, so here it is:

“Along with her financial background and her educational background she also has a capacity to handle a large quantity of work simultaneously, all while balancing the other priorities in her life.

“We’re not quite done with her.”

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