Inyo-LA Standing Committee fails to act

Just when they were about to act on something, the Inyo-Los Angeles Standing Committee didn’t.

They met in Los Angeles at DWP headquarters last week with an action item on the agenda to consider protocols for their own committee. Citizens had earlier raised questions about who should attend Standing Committee meetings to make them legitimate.

The agenda information said that the Inyo-LA Technical Group recommended a protocol which included elected, appointed and staff members – four representatives in total for each side.

Other items in the protocol point to a chairperson for each meeting, designation of Inyo and LA persons to cast the single vote for each side, and allowance of public comment.

Inyo Water Director Bob Harrington said the officials withdrew this item from their agenda last Thursday because of public letters that questioned the item. The letters came from Dave Moose, Big Pine Tribal Chair, and Mark Bagley of the Sierra Club and Owens Valley Committee.

Harrington said only that they questioned whether the Technical Group had actually taken action on the recommendation to the Standing Committee.

So, the confusion continues with what most consider an ineffective committee in the first place. To further prove that belief, the committee floundered over another issue. LA proposed that Ecosystem Sciences do a study with computer models on the potential increase of flow in the Lower Owens River to get rid of the pesky tules that have choked off many parts of the river.

By agreement, Inyo has to share in all costs over the river with DWP. Harrington said Inyo is “skeptical about this.” He said that without assurance that DWP will even provide more water for the river, what’s the point of a study? Harrington also said it doesn’t take a full blown study to figure out impacts on tules.

So, no action on that either.

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