Bureaucrat Beat: Robin Hood, Secrecy and DWP Angst

Heres a headline for you Goldman profit up as suit looms. Most of us do not really get what they do on Wall St. except that they do pretty much whatever they want and make billions and billions of dollars. Too much money in too few hands.

In fact, we saw a film trailer which reminded us of what we want. The gorgeous Russell Crowe will star in yet another version of Robin Hood. Hey, that’s who we need right now a hero to rob from the rich and give to the poor.

Lots of scrambling going on in Mammoth Lakes, we hear. After word got out that Police Chief Randy Schienle will retire in June, the posturing began. Who will do what when the top guy goes? We hear that the Town Council will likely hire an interim chief, unrelated to any local law enforcement, and then do a nationwide search for a new chief. We hope that members of the current department find an even deck on which to do their jobs.

We would like more bureaucrats to do their jobs in the open, right in front of the public. The whole Inyo court building project, handled by the State Administrative Office of the Courts, has remained under something of a cloak of secrecy with no one person taking responsibility to explain things to the people who pay the bills citizen taxpayers!!

Local communication has remained on the slim side too. At a recent Inyo Associates dinner, Judge Brian Lamb told the crowd that soon he and Judge Stout will make an announcement about the Court . A deafening silence fell on the dinner crowd. Then Judge Lamb revealed that he and Judge Sout will announce how they plan to analyze the court building issue. After the big yawns, everyone rapidly went back to eating dinner.

Here’s a story that could be the start of a series of Road Trip movies. Inyo County Administrator Kevin Carunchio and former County Counsel Paul Bruce took off for a trip to India. Seems Bruce wanted to see the Taj Mahal and Carunchio digs India. So, off they went on their magical mystery tour in the land of Ghandi. Mustve been a mind-bending change from Inyo bureaucracy.

Heres a note for those who find global warming and energy efficiencies to be liberal nonsense. Wow, have they ever heard of science? Anyway, Arthur Rosenfeld, former California Energy Commissioner, wrote in The Wall Street Journal that in 1978 he and his colleagues developed a building code aimed at improvement of energy efficiency. Rosenfeld said since then, the code has produced more than $56 billion in electricity and natural-gas savings. He added that the total U.S. energy bill, $1.2 trillion a year, is nearly $1 trillion less than if the business as usual trend had continued. Okay. Bureaucratic demands can work and save us real money.

Heres a question for you What do the LA City Council and the Owens Valley have in common? Distrust of DWP. Yep. An LA Times headline says that a power rate increase standoff revealed the Councils distrust of DWP. The President of the LA City Council, Eric Garcetti, basically said DWP officials have lied or changed their stories too many times. The DWP said they need a rate increase before they will transfer $73 million to the LA City General Fund. Feels kind of like black mail.

The LA Times said that DWP Mgr. David Freeman told the LA Council that the transfer would happen regardless of a rate increase. Whoops. Of course, since then, Freeman stepped down from the top DWP job when his 6-month commitment ended. Now, the LA City government fights go full blast.

Freeman played fast and loose with the truth. He told us he didn’t know what was in the Inyo-LA Water Agreement, when, in fact, he dealt with the agreement when he was DWP manager in the late 90s. We doubt that the 84-year-old man they call the Green Cowboy will melt away. Hell likely pop up somewhere else. And, hey, what about his big solar power plan for the Owens Dry Lake? These and other LA legends will be pondered as we watch the beautiful sunsets over the Sierra while driving on our miles of highways with virtually no traffic to distract our peaceful minds. Tough luck, LA.

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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