Letter to the editor: Public opinion ignored

One of fourteen Renewable Energy Development Areas - proposed from Independence to Lone Pine.

One of fourteen Renewable Energy Development Areas – proposed from Independence to Lone Pine.

I witnessed today the most embarrassing policy meeting I’ve ever experienced, under any circumstances, while watching the Inyo County Planning Commission decide to move forward on the Renewable Energy Plan Amendment. My past is filled with days being honored to call the Owens Valley home; today; I am ashamed, thanks to the disastrous decision-making of the commission and the planning department.! ! During the meeting, I listened intently as community member after community member voiced their significant concerns with the REGPA documentation. Under this scrutiny, the document was shown to be rife with logical fallacies, structural holes, vast inconsistencies in language, and outright lies pertaining to supposed support of the document from the community at large.

The citizens of Inyo (and from Los Angeles, Torrence, Pasadena, and other locations) stood up together and voiced their strong opposition, supported by sound science, clear understanding, and with the added benefit of numerous ideas as to how the REGPA could be significantly improved. After hours of such public commentary, many in attendance were hopeful that their voices were heard and the document would undergo significant revision before moving forward.! ! It was a complete and utter shock, then, when the planning commission decided to whole- heartedly ignore all of this input and decide to move the REGPA forward to the Board of Supervisors, unchanged.

The planning commission members were fed half-truths, insufficient data, and at times complete lies by the planning director (as can be seen by comparing the document itself and any record of the comments made by the director during the meeting).! ! The next step for the REGPA, then, is to move to the Board of Directors. It should be noted by those that hold these public positions that on the 18th of March you will be asked by the planning director to approve a document that is politically unsound, filled with logic fallacies, employs vague and circuitous language, and included outright lies in its claims of “community support.” The supervisors should also know that if they choose to support the REGPA and its associated documentation, they are making a clear choice in direct opposition to the overall public consensus and political will of their constituency. ! ! It is my charge then, as a concerned citizen of Inyo County, to help protect our governmental and political processes from degradation and misuse. I hope that my fellow community members will join me, if the need arises, to publicly call into question the governing ability of our elected officials if they choose to accept unsound and invalid policy and disregard the voiced and publicly documented will of their own constituents.! !

I hope that we can come together as a community to do what is right for Inyo County. Today we witnessed what can happen when members of our local governmental agencies fail on all counts to do their jobs correctly and ignore the very people they represent. Thankfully, we still have time to make it right. I ask you all to join me in making that happen. Please view my letter to the planning commission and the Board of Supervisors by visiting www.deepestvalley.com and if you’d like your letter included on the site, please email a copy to [email protected] Thank you.  Bryan Kostors

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DESCO
DESCO
8 years ago

A palimpsest /ˈpælɪmpsɛst/ is a manuscript page from a scroll or book from which the text has been scraped or washed off so that it can be used again.
The term has come to be used in similar context in a variety of disciplines, notably architectural archaeology and geomorphology.

Desert Tortoise
Desert Tortoise
8 years ago

I have twice now placed comments on discussions of solar arrays in the Owens Valley that Ms. Kessler have censored. I am beginning to question her basic honesty. Counties in and of themselves do not have veto power over solar projects. Fast track legislation to speed the permitting and construction… Read more »

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
8 years ago

My honesty is in tact, and here it is – You frequently respond off the track of the issue to drag on considerably about how much you know about a tangential detail. Such as this current comment. The subject at hand is Inyo County designating 14 large sites for industrial… Read more »

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
8 years ago
Reply to  Benett Kessler

Benett, I enjoy reading DT’s posts. They are informative and by giving details about things that are not directly related to a current discussion, his comments create and populate a larger context. Given the larger number of vapid and snide comments that have no bearing on anything that you publish,… Read more »

Joe
Joe
8 years ago
Reply to  Ken Warner

If Ken and DT are not one and the same, they would make a nice couple. Both are self-appointed experts on every topic and seem to take offense at being called out on their own integrity.

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
8 years ago
Reply to  Joe

Once again the Comedy Insult Pseudonym tries to make a point and … nothing…

If you spent less time trying to find a new pseudonym and more time actually thinking about the topic at hand — your posts still would be empty of content.

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
8 years ago
Reply to  Ken Warner

There are a number of pseudonyms on here who do have points and content.
BK

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
8 years ago
Reply to  Joe

I do try to read a lot. That helps.

As for integrity, I didn’t know I had any to sell….

Desert Tortoise
Desert Tortoise
8 years ago
Reply to  Joe

Joe, I volunteer on a city council committee and attend public meetings regarding projects like the Aqua-Helio “Fremont Valley Restoration Project” hosted by the Kern County Planning Commission. I also take the time to read the laws. Kern County has the same problems Inyo County has regarding solar power installations,… Read more »

Trouble
Trouble
8 years ago
Reply to  Joe

Joe, I don’t think D T or Ken owe you their qualifications to blog here. I’ve actually learn a lot and even changed my mind on several subjects they have addressed over the last few years.

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
8 years ago
Reply to  Joe

Thanks Trouble.

Mongo The Idiot
Mongo The Idiot
8 years ago
Reply to  Benett Kessler

I have fruit of the month club.

ted wyatt
ted wyatt
8 years ago

I would like to have more of your thoughts on the Fremont Valley Preservation ? Project.
You can email me directly at [email protected] if you like. Thank You.

Bryan Kostors
Bryan Kostors
8 years ago

I would like to make an important note regarding my letter: I originally stated that the REGPA was voted to be moved to the Board of Supervisors unchanged. This is wrong – one of the REDA’s was removed from the plan by the planning commission and the planning director before… Read more »

bishop rocks
bishop rocks
8 years ago

That’s actually more inflammatory than I intend. The truth of the matter is that many, many locals who are engaged in this very important issue regarding the future of our valley were engaged, and the Plan going to Board of Supervisors for a decision doesn’t incorporate concerns that were voiced,… Read more »

GWW
GWW
8 years ago

Hello Bryan, You don’t seem to be very tolerant of others opinions and its a shame that instead of creating meaningful discussion, you resort to name calling and character assassination. Please cite what science claims that the farm will destroy anything other than a small percentage of the habitat of… Read more »

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
8 years ago
Reply to  GWW

Point of accuracy. Our understanding is that all but a small handful of the people at the meeting were locals.
Benett Kessler

GWW
GWW
8 years ago
Reply to  Benett Kessler

Sorry, one of the letters plainly states there were protestors from around LA but the specific cities listed escapes me. Come on Bennett, never heard of the busing that goes on to give the impression that they are in the majority? Happened throughout the Boxer/Mckeon Wilderness Bill battle and on… Read more »

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
8 years ago
Reply to  GWW

We understand that all of the people who spoke, except for the Japanese-Americans, some of whom were from soCal, were locals. Your cliche is tiring. Also remember, many of these lands are federally owned. That means all people in the US own them. BK

bishop rocks
bishop rocks
8 years ago
Reply to  GWW

Did you happen to attend the meeting, GWW? Do you actually know how many people were from out of the area? Was it a majority? Or was it six Manzanar advocates and internees who have widely adverstised their opinon on the Solar Ranch? Who funded this left-wing extremist busing campaign,… Read more »

Rose Masters
Rose Masters
8 years ago
Reply to  GWW

Another point of accuracy: Japanese Americans at Manzanar farmed 440 acres of agricultural fields — including the still-active fields on the highway just north of the site. Moreover, Manzanar War Relocation Center encompassed a significant portion of the Manzanar town and orchards, originally founded as the Owens Valley Improvement Company… Read more »

Russ Monroe
Russ Monroe
8 years ago

Let’s All sing the new Inyo County tourist theme song!!!!! Ah, we’re going to Wasteland, Wasteland, used to be a beautiful sea But now it’s a Wasteland, Wasteland, made just for us by the DWP We’re going to Wasteland, Wasteland, where the admissions always free Because they built us a… Read more »

Daris
Daris
8 years ago

As I stated previously our supervisors go where ever they think the money (compensation) is not where the public comments, or Inyo County’s general plan should lead them. The voters have voiced their opinions in the last election but we may have to do it again if this bunch can’t… Read more »

Tinner
Tinner
8 years ago

Sounds like somebody got greased, Chicago style.

Waxlips
Waxlips
8 years ago

Don’t hold your breath thinking that the board of supervisors are going to vote on the side of the people. They were the ones who appointed the folks in the planning commission in the first place. The question now is how to make them it stop or go away, as… Read more »

Philip Anaya
Philip Anaya
8 years ago

Shock and dismay are not adequate responses to events of todays Planning Commission Meeting. Our Board of Supervisors are ultimately responsible for the operations of the County Departments including the Inyo County Planning Department. As I have written lately there are standards that reflect a Good Planning Process. I expect… Read more »

RandyKeller
RandyKeller
8 years ago
Reply to  Philip Anaya

I have known the Planning Director, Mr. Hart, to be a dedicated and conscientious public servant. He is also an experienced and excellent planner. And I would say, he is doing the people of this County a fine service by bringing this amendment forward for public debate. It is his… Read more »

kwak
kwak
8 years ago
Reply to  RandyKeller

While I agree that an economy based upon service to tourists has some serious drawabacks, your assertions that ‘a from of servitude . . . has never been a part of this place’ sounds nice but isn’t very accurate, Most people trying to make ranches work in the OV sold… Read more »