Bureaucrat Beat: Royal Performance, Executives Party On, DWP: The Good and Bad

(we’re switching to computer keyboard to fit it all in now!)

rooms, plus another $17,500 on a private jet. $8,000 more on limos. Do we have to make cheekyness illegal to force these swaggerers to behave?!?!

Here’s one more piece of preposterous press. Seems the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, Henry Paulsonh, Jr. , handpicked former bankers and alleged experts from Goldman Sachs, Paulson’s old firm. After AIG failed, Paulson went to Sachs for a new board chair for AIG. Then, when Congress approved the $700 billion bail out, Paulson turned to – you guessed it – Goldman Sachs and recruited a 35 year old former investment banker (how can you be former when you are only 35?!?) to oversee the bigt bail out. That’s just plain scarey.

It’s all very clubby, isn’t it? All those Sachs guys so close to the big money – government money. Here’s a hidden practice that screamed out when the light of day hit it. Seems lobbyists, to hide what they give to legislators in exchange for their votes, have donated to favorite charities and causes of congressmen and women. The representatives can then big time it or leverage favors into money – all behind the scenes. Good Grief! Do us little guys stand any chance of a fair share of Democracy? We doubt it.

Closer to home. It was in 1976 that John Heston and I began to report on the fact that LADWP had landlocked our communities with its land ownership all around the towns. Citizens talked it up that we needed to get some modeest amount of acreage for a small amount of growth – to at least preserve services and schools. Our leaders failed to negotiate sufficient land in time.

Last week, citizens began to circulate a petition against DWP plans to buy more than 100 acres on Oak Creek north of Independence. The petition asks that if DWP buys the land, would they please release the same number of acres somewhere else. Now is the time for our leaders to get serious about all of this. Southern Inyo can’t stand to lose any more.

Now, to show how fair and balanced we are, here’s a good news story about DWP. The Metropolitan Water Agencies awarded DWP its 2008 Platinum Award. DWP won this honor because of water conservation achievements, the development of a 20-year water strategy for Los Angeles and for the restoration of the Lower Owens River.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and DWP CEO David Nahai can take credit for a very aggressive conservation program and a plan to manage new water needs without ruining the environment. The Sierra Club and Owens Valley Committee deserve credit for the Lower Owens River. Their lawsuit assured that the project would happen Local DWP crews then successfully carried out the work.

Mr. Nahai seems to have a progressive mind when it comes to water management. We hope he stays on, evein if there’s a change of Mayor in next jspring’s election.

We were relieved the other day when one of our staff members, in the midst of a hair do, saw an elderly woman call Dial A Ride, and the woman did not have to wait long at all before a bus arrived. We hope that’s mostly the way transit service works.

We see ESTA will participate in new transit in Mammmoth – an Apres Ski Shuttle, an Evening Hospitality Shuttle, etc. That’s helpful. We just hope ESTA won’t forget the old and infirm who need transit as much as or more than our tourists.

Well, our fingers are pretty tired right now. The old Royal gave us a work out. P.S. There’s one thing a manual typewriter doesn’t have – the Internet!

So, 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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