Bishop City Council hears many issues

By Deb Murphy

Monday evening’s Bishop City Council meeting was standing room only, though it wnot really evident why.

The Council honored foster parents, discussed vaping and potential city ordinances, even the possibility of defining “city standards” and updated residents on the progress of environmental work on the Kingston subdivision. The audience faded away gradually throughout the two-hour meeting.


Bishop Police Chief Chris Carter gave his swan song at what will be his final Council meeting before he retires. While Carter made no direct reference to the charges brought by seven officers in a letter of “no confidence,” he was the subject of a closed session, his performance evaluation, by council members prior to the public meeting. No action was reported; the Council reconvened in closed session at the close of its open session.

A new business, a vaping lounge scheduled to open in a few days, was brought to the Council’s attention two weeks ago and was the topic of a presentation made by Inyo County’s Health and Human Services’ April Egan.

Egan focused on the health issues of e-cigarettes, regulated as a tobacco product and restricted to those over 18 as well as whatever unrestricted substances can also be vaped.

“We don’t want minors,” said business co-owner Chastity Logan. “This is an adults only business. We’re not trying to start a war. We will do whatever we can to make it safe for the community.” Logan explained that while “anything in the lungs but oxygen isn’t good,” vaping is far safer than smoking cigarettes.

During a later agenda item on business license procedures, City Administrator Jim Tatum said the city “didn’t have the ability to disallow a license, I’m not saying we would have if we could…. The Logans developed a business plan that could go the way an ordinance would. They were under no obligation to do (the plan).”

City Attorney Ryan Jones and Mayor Pat Gardner will be attending a League of California Cities conference where regulation of vaping products and stores will be under discussion. Councilmember Joe Pecsi suggested the Council “wait and see what the League comes up with.”

Karen Kong, who opened the discussion at the Sept. 14 meeting with a letter from Inyo County Office of Education Superintendent Terry McAteer, followed up with another statement from McAteer, suggesting the city develop community standards, identifying what businesses were appropriate in Bishop city limits. Considering the variety of cultures in the city, that would be an interesting discussion.

Questions on the progress of new environmental documents on the 15-home Kingston Subdivision posed by Terrance Tye and Stan Wooden were answered in Planning Director Gary Schley’s report. Both Tye and Wooden, residents of Rome Street adjacent to the project at the 2.5 acre parcel currently occupied by Bishop Nursery, have come out strongly against the Draft Negative Declaration and the project.

According to Schley, the City has conducted a biological study on and adjacent to the site. It’s apparent, Schley said, that additional mitigation will be required and the draft report recirculated. The revamped report is scheduled to be available by Oct. 15, followed by a 30-day comment period with the Council taking up the question, again


The fenced-in, cracked concrete slab next to Holy Smoke BBQ on North Main Street in Bishop is one step closer to being an un-fenced, re-paved parking lot accommodating 70 spots for both passenger vehicles and RVs. But, wait there’s more.

The City continues to work with Inyo Mono Advocates for Community Action on low-income housing, re-allocating the $1 million Community Development Block Grant from the Valley Apartment project to a 2.9-acre site at Spruce and MacIver in East Bishop. There are still pieces yet to fall into place. But IMACA’s Larry Emerson, who has been working on low-income housing for the community for five years, anticipates those pieces will be in place in the next few months.

City Administrator Jim Tatum updated the City Council on negotiations with Los Angeles Department of Water and Power to add the lot on North Main to the City’s list of leased public parking sites. The current lessee is not renewing, Tatum said, opening the door for the City. “The greatest shortage is parking for RVs,” he said. “This will get people (in RVs) closer to Bishop’s retail center.” The lot will also take pressure off parking at City Park and Erick Schat’s Bakkery. According to Tatum, the lot is a potential site for electric vehicle recharging.

The 70-unit Silver Peaks project is a little more complicated. The original grant, which expires in September 2016, falls $500,000 short of the appraised value of the parcel that Tatum said LADWP is ready to sell. Emerson is working on sources for the additional funding.

“Over the next few months, we’ll be working with IMACA to make this happen,” Tatum said.

The CDBG funding was originally slated to tear down and rebuild the Valley Apartments, east of Perry Motors, but that project proved to be financially unfeasible, Tatum told the Council Monday. With a significant shortage of housing, relocation of Valley’s tenants during construction would have been nearly impossible.

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9 Responses to Bishop City Council hears many issues

  1. Trouble November 1, 2015 at 11:02 am #

    I know my opinion means little concerning this matter, but I think it is great that Mrs. Carter has responded to these statements.
    My personnel opinion on this matter is the magnificent seven aren’t all that faithful to their partners either.

  2. Jeff October 30, 2015 at 3:46 pm #

    I was at the city council as well. And the whole room was not standing. Plus after his wonderful swan song, I was waiting to see him walk by those officers who signed the letter, he put his head down and walked right by them. If he were a man with ingrity and character, he would have held his head high and should have (at least I would)shook their hands as he walked by. Instead he huddled in the corner with his buddy Nolan.

    • Danielle Carter October 31, 2015 at 8:00 am #

      Not sure what meeting you were at, “Jeff,” but they were standing for him. There were a couple of those seven who were seated. I was told that one rolled his eyes and another I watched get out of his seat and run to the bathroom when I stood too close to where he was seated. Yeah, they’re the brave ones! Ms. Murphy’s article states: “The audience faded away gradually throughout the two-hour meeting.” This is because most of his supporters left immediately or shortly after the Chief’s report.

      I could go on and on, but I suspect that you, like others hiding here behind pseudonyms, are either one of the seven, or part of the family, and I am wasting my energy. All of those in the community whom we have come into contact with are fully supportive of all of those (including my husband) who were maligned in their letter. As a matter of fact, at least for us, their letter garnered us more support than we previously had. We live in a wonderful community!

  3. Really October 30, 2015 at 2:17 pm #

    Mrs. Carter, I have talked with some of the seven officers, so I am not sure why you would say one problem officer wrote the letter and mislead the other officers. From my understanding they all agreed on the letter. No one said anything about his career before bishop police department. Also 2 sergeants signed the letter, why would they be angry over the promotion?You are mad at one officer out of the seven but you are forgetting who the other 6 officers are. A few of which are good, FAITHFUL, family men. Hmmmm Makes me wonder if you condone adultery??

    • Danielle Carter October 31, 2015 at 7:47 am #

      @Really Knowing these seven personally, I question your claim that they are good, faithful, family men, but I’m not going to engage in playing the rumor game. Facts are facts, and when the investigator’s findings come back, you can read them for yourself.

      • Really October 31, 2015 at 9:04 pm #

        So what you didn’t answer is the part about adultery?? Because I have heard about that disgusting picture Nolan sent while married, so now I question your character.

  4. Lara October 30, 2015 at 1:45 pm #

    @Mrs. Carter- There have been numerous occasions where people with 30+ year careers make mistakes in their final year(s) including slipping in management decisions, taking ethical missteps, or much worse. As the husband of the accused, I wouldn’t expect your writings to state anything different but one things still stands out in my mind: why did 7 sworn officers sign that letter? That is serious anger and disappointment as you point out. I don’t think anyone would have paid much attention if one officer penned a letter… but seven?!! I too look forward to the conclusion of the investigation and an apology made to whomever it is due.

    • Danielle Carter October 31, 2015 at 7:36 am #

      “Lara”, I have worked with all of the “seven.” I’m sure that I am privy to facts that you are ignorant of. We ANXIOUSLY await the investigator’s findings! 🙂

  5. Danielle Carter October 29, 2015 at 9:32 am #

    @Deb Murphy:
    Looking back over some of the recent reporting regarding the police department, I ran across this article that you penned, in which the opening line was, “Monday evening’s Bishop City Council meeting (Sept 28) was standing room only, though it was not really evident why.” At the risk of beating a dead horse, I feel the need to respond.

    Although I thought it was evident by the standing ovation after Chief Carter’s “swan song,” as you called it, let me tell you why that room was standing room only: those people were there to support my husband, Bishop Police Chief Chris Carter. Most of the supporters were employees from the police department and the community, however there were several who drove to Bishop from great distances just to attend that meeting in order to show their support for a man who they respect and admire.

    Chris Carter is concluding a law enforcement career that spans more than three decades at two separate departments, the last twelve here in Bishop. He was awarded the Medal of Valor in 1998 in Barstow after a much publicized off-duty shooting, and is very well known and respected in the law enforcement community for his professionalism, experience and leadership. He continues to travel the country, training officers on safety and tactics. He is also well respected in the local law enforcement community, the City of Bishop and surrounding areas.

    Bottom line is that those people were there for Chris Carter. A letter penned by a problem employee and signed by six people who were sadly mislead by said employee, cannot take away from the 31-year career of this man, who has experienced and accomplished more in his career than those seven could ever hope for. Their letter was based on one man’s ability to appeal to six others’ anger and disappointment over a promotion (not in their favor) rather than logic and fact. As I’ve previously stated to someone within your agency, I hope that when the facts from the investigation are made public that you will give it as much, if not more, attention as you did their “claims.”


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