With little fanfare and a small audience, the three supervisor candidates for Inyo’s District 3 answered questions four days before the election in a League of Women Voters’ Forum. One of the challengers called the current Board of Supervisors “arrogant and intimidating” to the public.
Incumbent Supervisor Beverly Brown said she has “unfinished business” to deal with in a new term. She didn’t say what it was. The most important issues? Financing, Brown said. She pointed to no lay-offs in county government but said the State budget shortfalls would take a toll – possibly a loss of Calworks and MediCal coverage.
Challenger Rick Pucci brings 30 years of running the City of Bishop as administrator to his candidacy. He stood on his successes in city government. He also called for respect and courtesy for the public. Pucci also said the number one issue is financial stability and survival. The long-time administrator said Inyo County must get creative and “think out of the box.” He said government should only do things private enterprise won’t do. Pucci also placed maintenance of natural resources on the top of the list with what he called “open, public dialogue.” He also named public safety, jobs, economic development, recreation and medical services.
Candidate Karen Ball Summers named fiscal concerns as primary. She pointed to potential economic partnerships like renewable energy. Summers called for “assertive oversight” of DWP and the ongoing need to deal with differences over the Long Term Water Agreement. Summers pointed to help for the young and for older adults. As an Adult Services provider for the county, Summers said she knows the needs. “We have to keep up the quality of life for the elderly while cuts come down from the State.”
Summers surprised the audience and panel when she criticized the lack of access to local government. “People feel like their voices are not heard. We need leadership,” she said, “to include citizens.” Summers said the Supervisors seem to work for County administration and not for the people. She called the supervisorial attitudes “arrogant and intimidating.”
On other issues, Bev Brown could not explain her lack of enforcement of the DWP Water Agreement and blamed water for the Owens Dry Lake for DWP’s pumping of the Owens Valley.