The search for the future is on


Mammoth opens new $150k economic development slot

Mammoth is on the hunt for a director of economic development, in what town Manager Marianna Marysheva-Martinez calls a “very critical” hire.

“Economic development is one of the highest priorities in the town,” she said on Thursday, March 14, one day after the town’s Planning and Economic Development Commission weighed in on the job description and responsibilities of the position.

“What I expect,” she said, “is for this person to look at everything that has been done by the staff and by the town’s various commissions, and then consolidate that information into a comprehensive plan.”

The new job, which will pay up to $150,000 in base salary, would include benefits to create a $226,000 compensation package.

According to the draft job description, the new position would require the director “to have a strong background in economic development and related skills, as this person will be working on a number of economic development-related tasks in addition to tasks typically assigned to a Principal Planner/Community Development Director.”

In essence, the position would combinethe duties of former economic development director Mark Wardlaw, who resigned to accept a similar position in San Diego County last autumn, and Ellen Clark, the town’s principal planner who resigned earlier this year to take a planning job in the  Bay Area City of Moraga.

The Mammoth position is to be filled by the beginning of the 2013-14 fiscal year, which begins July 1.

If the Planning Commission meeting was any indicator at all, filling the position will be sure to prompt lively discussion at practically every level of the town government, as well as the town’s business and tourism communities.

“I really think you need someone with outside perspective, but also knows Mammoth,” said commissioner Elizabeth Tenney on Wednesday.

“We have to be so careful to protect the good work we’ve already done. We don’t want somebody to come in to make his mark or make her mark; we have to build on what we’ve already done.”

Marysheva-Martinez said she has identified two untapped economic resources: increased Internet bandwidth with the arrival of Digital 395, and proper use of the town-owned land at the airport.

Before the candidates line up for the position, it must be funded, she said. As for now, there is no such position in the five-year budget grid.

However, Marysheva-Martinez said she would take the compensation package that was to go the Clark’s planning position, then ask the Town Council to find a way to come up with the balance.