Nothing in the past week has changed the schedule for Mammoth’s journey into bankruptcy protection.
That does not mean the town staff has just been sitting around, waiting for events to unfold.
Behind the scenes this week, the staff has been working at a frantic pitch as staffers gather documents requested by Mammoth Lakes Land Acquisition (MLLA) as well as federal mediator Elizabeth Perris.
Those documents may come into play as early as Monday, when the town and MLLA face each other for the first time in a scheduled two-day face-to-face mediation session.
Perris has been Chief Judge of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Oregon from 1984 and U.S. Bankruptcy Appellate Panel for the Ninth Circuit from 1988–1993 and from 1998–2005.
She has been member of the California and Oregon State Bars since 1976, and the Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Bankruptcy Rules since 2007. She worked from 1976 to 1984 as a bankruptcy court law clerk, a bankruptcy trustee, and an attorney in private practice specializing in bankruptcy.
Judge Perris has held other positions as past board member, Federal Judicial Center (FJC); past chair, FJC Bankruptcy Judges’ Education Committee, and the Bankruptcy Section of the Federal Bar Association.
She also is hearing the Stockton bankruptcy case.
The sheer number of requests said Assistant Town Manager Marianna Marysheva-Martinez slowed the town business significantly.
“It has been an enormous amount of work for the people in the town,” she said at a Town Council meeting Wednesday evening.
“Keep in mind we have only 17 employees. We have inquiries through walk-in, via-phone, via-email—numerous inquiries on a daily basis, and it does create quite a distraction and takes away from what they need to do.”
After the mediation sessions on Monday and Tuesday, the next important date is Aug. 29, she said, for a “status conference” in which a judge in Sacramento will review objections to Mammoth’s bid for bankruptcy protection. Those objections must be filed by Friday, Aug. 24.
At the Aug. 29 status conference, a judge then will set a date for a full-blown hearing to determine if Mammoth is eligible to declare bankruptcy.
Should events reach that far, the town then would present its financial plan to a court and ask that it be approved.
“Those requests are a lot of work by staff,” Marysheva-Martinez told the council. “We literally have to go back through emails and hard-copy files, in some cases going back to 2008 and 2009.
“We are working extremely hard to meet those deadlines, so that’s what is happening behind the scenes.”