Bureaucrat Beat: Inyo Neglect, Walmart Foe, and King Man

A history of weakness and caving in continues in Inyo County where this week the Supervisors talked about maybe disbanding the Inyo Water Commission. Officials said it’s a do-nothing commission. Yeah. We know.


Why don’t Inyo Supervisors put the Water Commission to work?

So, instead of shaking off the dust and the ennui, the esteemed leaders entertained abandonment of the citizen commission. Sure, why not give up one more thing? When your water policy is to toady up to LADWP and to sign pathetically weak agreements, might as well call it a day. What, for example, the Inyo Water Commission could do, with support from the Supervisors – Take a position on DWP’s groundwater pumping rate that currently is too high and will lower water tables. Make a public statement and a recommendation to the Supervisors. There are many critical environmental issues that the Water Commission of citizens could weigh in on.

What Inyo needs is not to renounce its Water Commission but to embrace a water policy with courage. An actual political base for action might follow. Think of that!!!

Somebody has jumped ahead with action in response to the rumors that Walmart might build a store in Bishop. Sources told us that a consultant, hired by an unidentified business in the Eastern Sierra, traveled to Bishop and has started to scope out the community to strategize to keep Walmart out.

Interesting. Speculation has it that Kmart or Vons must’ve hired the consultant. We do know that Vons employee union officials have looked at how to block Walmart. Something to watch.

The past election was a government-watchers’ mildly fun evening. For newly elected Inyo Supervisor Rick Pucci it was, as he described it, a humbling experience. “It’s humbling,” said Pucci, “all those votes.” The long-time City of Bishop Administrator did gain a generous ballot of support – 702 compared to his opponents 300 plus each. The heat’s on, now, Pucci.

Heat’s on CNN, too. They have to come up with a replacement for Larry King!! Good grief. Say what you will about the King Man, but he has a certain style and viewers like it. Hollywood insiders say CNN has looked at America’s Got Talent judge Piers Morgan. Never heard of him. Then, we don’t watch that much TV.

The LA Times described Morgan as a “onetime British tabloid newspaper editor who serves as a judge on ‘Britain’s Got Talent'”. We have to see him before we can believe in him. Speaking of Britain, did you hear about the whining and pawing from the UK over America leaning on British Petroleum to clean up the oil? That’s right. Seems Brits have retirement funds invested in BP. They’re blaming the U.S. for forcing BP to clean up the oil and jeopardize their money. No wonder we had to abandon the Mother Country!!

On the local scene, some wondered why Mammoth Town Councilman-Elect, Rick Wood, came to the budget session on crutches. Wood said it’s related to his Boston Marathon run and some necessary surgery. Wood says he can’t wait to get back to running. Town-watchers marveled at the running of Wood’s incredibly low-keyed campaign for Council and his win. Wood says he has a different attitude. We might call it a detached enthusiasm. Should be interesting.

So is this. Seems the new DWP General Manager Austin Beutner wants to sell the big DWP headquarters building on Hope St. in LA and have it leased back to DWP. He says that sale would raise some $300 million. Beutner wants to avoid more electricity rate hikes.

Some LA officials bristled at the thought of the sale. Beutner said basically – do you want renewable energy, or do you want to own a building? May they enjoy their dispute.

With that, this is Benett Kessler signing off for Bureaucrat Beat where we await your word on our lives in the Eastern Sierra and beyond.


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