Tatum voted in as administrator

bcc1_27After leaving his position as Director of the Tri-County Fairgrounds, Jim Tatum took on the job of Inyo County Deputy Public Works Director. As of Monday night, Tatum now has a new job. The Bishop City Council unanimously approved a contract with Tatum for City Administrator.


New Administrator Jim Tatum and Mayor Jim Ellis

New Administrator Jim Tatum and Mayor Jim Ellis

When current Administrator Keith Caldwell announced he would leave his job in the fall to move back to Georgia to care for his aging parents, the Council started their search. They had received numerous applications from both local and out of the area candidates.

Prior to Monday night’s Council meeting, word had spread that Tatum was the local candidate and a Colonel David Buckingham was the out of town candidate.

Tatum will serve as City Administrator/ City Clerk for the City of Bishop. His contract includes a three-year agreement at $120,000 annually. Tatum will start work for the City on August 25th. Current Administrator Caldwell will return home in early September. His last day is Friday, August 29th.

22 Responses to Tatum voted in as administrator

  1. Philip Anaya August 7, 2014 at 6:02 pm #

    A thought. There is the City of Bishop and then there is the 93514. We are all Bishop none the less in actuality and the streets and the journey do not reflect the political boundary . Keith Caldwell and the City of Bishop was responsive and helpful to the issues presented last fall of Bishop Creek as was the Chamber even though the requests were “outside” the City of Bishop I hold hope that there is a continued unified attention to all issues in the 93514, in the City of Bishop and in the Owens Valley and I see that reflected in the good will and purpose of the social interactions of all the Groups and Orgs that pay attention to the needs of our Community. Congrats and best wishes to Mr. Tatum and to us all. We have a foot up on most places in the world . We live in the Owens Valley

  2. bishop rocks August 7, 2014 at 11:58 am #

    I was excited that Bishop might benefit from outside leadership and new ideas. And now I’m hopeful that Mr. Tatum can use his years of experience and relationships working in Bishop to revitalize our economy and our community. But I don’t believe he can do that alone, nor would I hold him solely responsible, because who honestly believes that any one person can build a better community? Everyone in the community needs to be involved in educating our leadership and holding them responsible for making informed decisions that will take Bishop in a better direction. For everyone on this thread who’s concerned about the good ole boys club, I encourage you take your opinions out of this forum and into City Hall, and hold our elected and appointed leaders accountable for representing everyone in the community. One of the biggest hurdles Bishop faces in making positive changes is lackluster civic involvement.

    Best of luck to Mr. Tatum!

  3. Mary Mae Kilpatrick August 6, 2014 at 3:50 pm #

    Bishop Pioneer—Angler-Man–So Sad whatever you call yourself I know for a fact that Chuck Kilpatrick knew nothing of the choices that were being considered, but he(we) knew of a few who had applied for the job by word of mouth and it had nothing to do with our wonderful son-in-law David Stottlemyre. He is a man of integrity, also, and wouldn’t comment on anything that was discussed in closed session. However, every chance Chuck had that was available to comment on Jim, he did. That means no matter what meetings he attended, and he attends quite a few, if the subject came up he would mention Jim. We have known Jim since he was a boy, and our opinion of him has never changed, so why not back him—–You must be some sort of a character to assume something about an individual(s) of whom you know nothing about. Oh well. it takes all kinds. We are very happy for Jim and his wife, Donna. Thanks Debbie for your lovely comment.

  4. Debbie McCormick August 3, 2014 at 9:55 am #

    OK, there is a real Charles James living in our community, actually for over 10 years now. I am acquainted with the real Charles James, who happens to be a man of integrity, and who also happens to be someone invested in a sincere way of giving back to our communities up and down the 395 corridor. I also know he is an excellent writer. I am sure the other “Charles James” who is supposedly being outed here as Chuck Kilpatrick is also a man of integrity. I was his insurance customer for a few years back in the 90’s, and he always came across as fair, and just a good person. He also, along with his lovely wife, have done more good for our communities than I can state here. They give tirelessy, over and over again. I am doubtful Chuck Kilpatrick would hide behind a screen name to make a point, or besmirch the Colonel.
    As to the hiring of Jim Tatum as City of Bishop administrator. BRAVO! He is more than qualified to take the helm there, given his tenure as fairgrounds CEO, I am happy he was selected and wish him well.

  5. Trouble August 1, 2014 at 11:35 pm #

    Thanks Benett, I luv the freedom of speech and freedom of the press allowed here.

    But the good ole boys club won this one. A hundred and twenty grand plus bennies, welcome to Bishop Colonel, now go home.

    I’m not sure this blog would work so well in a larger community thou?

  6. Dee Younger August 1, 2014 at 10:32 pm #

    Trouble, You are way out of bounds to suggest Jim Tatum could be implicated or involved. Just because you can comment doesn’t always mean you should.

    • Trouble August 2, 2014 at 1:57 pm #

      Dee, you may well be correct. I probably should have stayed out of this one.

  7. Bishop Pioneer August 1, 2014 at 5:55 pm #

    Angler Man and So Sad are right. “Charles James” is too well informed about the details of the council’s decision regarding the Colonel to be just any citizen. So I ask “Charles James” to name his source. And maybe we should be calling “Charles James” by what many are starting to believe is the name he really goes by, Charles James “Chuck” Kilpatrick. I hear Chuck Kilpatrick is the father-in-law of councilman Dave Stottlemeyer and that would put him in a position to know what occurred in the closed session. So Sad is right on the money questioning where you got your info. Something stinks on the council. I hope the citizens of Bishop keep that in mind when voting this year!

    • Benett Kessler August 1, 2014 at 9:50 pm #

      News reporters don’t have to name their sources. Their job is to get information. Mr. James is right about revealing all he can. Benett Kessler

      • John Barton August 3, 2014 at 7:36 am #

        True to a certain extent until the “source” becomes an all to frequent “source” leading one to believe the “source” is actually the reporter’s attempt to turn rumor and bias into factual “news”. When the same reporter (term used loosely) then comments in this feed about how he thinks one candidate was the best choice, the small amount of credibility that remained has been blown away.

        • Charles James August 3, 2014 at 3:13 pm #

          John, I give you credit for using your actual name and not hiding behind a pseudonym while trolling this story as so many others have done.

          Whether as a reporter or citizen, I have every right to comment or write about issues that interest me and those issues that the editors that employ me feel are of importance to the public. I do not, never will, and never have tried to turn “rumor and bias into factual “news as you snidely commented.

          Had I ever tried to create the news as you weakly argue in your ad hominem attack on my qualifications and integrity, I would have been fired out many years ago by the very news organizations for whom I have written hundreds of articles, commentaries and Op-eds over the past 7-plus years.

          There are others far better qualified than you to judge my work as a journalist and a writer; one being Benett and the Sierra Wave (thank you Benett), and others such as the editors of The Sheet and The Inyo Register.

          And to be frank, there are many others throughout this county (in which I am fairly well known) who are far better to judge my character and integrity than you.

    • Charles James August 2, 2014 at 4:47 am #

      Yes! I-am-Chuck-Kilpatrick! How clever of someone to have figured it out! Wow! I mean really – thank you! I simply cannot tell you what a relief it is to finally “come out of the closet” as it were. I was afraid that I could not keep up this pretense much longer.
      It’s so obvious: Charles = “Chuck”, and “James” is such an obvious red herring being that the first letter in “James” is just one letter off in the alphabet from “K” as in, yes – “Kilpatrick!” (My inspiration being the antagonist, HAL, from the movie 2001; Space Odyssey.)
      I should have known that I could not continue to fool clever people who use creative pseudonyms themselves rather than accept personal responsibility for their own words using their real names. But sadly, on the other hand, there is a village somewhere missing a lot of its idiots and apparently they cannot find them because these particular idiots are not using their real names, just pseudonyms.

  8. Truth not rumor August 1, 2014 at 2:43 pm #

    I don’t know if Charles James is correct about the details of how the decision was made or not. What I know is that Mr. Tatum did not have the requisite job experience to even make it past the initial screening (nor did he for the job he is leaving with the county). Mr. Tatum does not have any experience running a governmental entity such as a city or county.
    Whether you like the decision or not, it seems clear that some “good ole boy” stuff was involved in his hiring.

  9. So Sad August 1, 2014 at 5:29 am #

    It should read “Was he told what was…”

  10. So Sad August 1, 2014 at 5:28 am #

    How is it that Mr. James seems to know what was discussed in a Closed Session of the Bishop City Council that pertained to a personnel matter?

    Was he there? Was he told was discussed by someone who was there? Or was he giving his own opinion about what occurred even though there was no basis in fact?

  11. Trouble July 30, 2014 at 8:52 pm #

    I would like to know if Mr. Tatum was running the Fair Grounds when the embezzlement investigation started?

    • Charles James July 31, 2014 at 10:43 am #


      In answer to your question, the CHP began their embezzlement investigation in August of 2013.

      Tatum left to become the new Deputy Public Works Director for Inyo County in December of 2012, some nine months prior to the investigation.

      The Tri-County Fairgrounds board did not fill the position at the fairgrounds in order to save money as the result of cutbacks in state funding. The office manager, subsequently charged with embezzlement, continued and took over events’ planning with the understanding that the fairgrounds’ board would play a more active role.

      After the embezzlement came to light, Sierra Wave reported that Sally Symons had been hired as its new CEO and would begin work on March 1, 2014, “taking over a post that has been vacant for almost two years following the departure of Jim Tatum in November 2012.”

      According to the District Attorney’s Office, the complaint filed against the fairgrounds office manager for “wrongful conduct” goes back to July of 2012.

  12. Mary Roper July 30, 2014 at 8:04 am #

    Congratulations Jim Tatum. This is a loss for Inyo County – but a gain for the City of Bishop. He did a great job when he was the manager for the fairgrounds and as Inyo County Deputy Public Works Director. Plus he is just a really nice guy!

  13. bishop traveler July 29, 2014 at 10:25 am #

    what happened to the colonel sounds like he was offered the job first but some old local business men pressured the city council to give it to tatum? Can you check into that Bennet sounds like the colonel was more than qualified. This city council is looking out for themselves

    • Charles James July 29, 2014 at 10:44 pm #

      The retired Colonel had a recent and unfortunate past which proved to be widely publicized on the Internet that undermined his support and resulted in the City Council’s week-delay in announcing their final decision.

      Council members announced publicly that they were looking for certain qualities in the new City Manager. Sadly, information which they were provided recently made them question whether the Colonel was an acceptable choice… and they appear to have made a difficult, but correct decision that, at this time, he was not.

      There is no evidence that “old local business men” pressured the City Council, which is not to say that some may have had a preference and offered their opinion. They are as entitled as much as anyone else in the city to do so.

      Jim Tatum was the best choice under the six-month process that he and others underwent for the job of City Manager. He is a life-long resident of the area and he has a solid reputation for his 20 years of work at the County Fairgrounds.

      His work with the County over the past year-and-a-half as the Deputy Public Works Director has been exemplary according to his boss, Public Works Director Clint Quilter. And anyone who has watched Tatum give presentations on various projects to the County Board of Supervisors know that he is very thorough and thoughtful. The residents of the City of Bishop should be well-served with Tatum’s appointment. He is a good man.

      As for the Colonel, he is also a good man. Let’s hope that, despite any unfortunate mistakes that he made in the recent past while serving his country overseas, that he will be successful as well. We should hope for nothing less for any of our servicemen and women who have honorably served our country.

      • Angler Man August 1, 2014 at 3:54 am #

        Mr James is sadly distorting the truth – like the media did to the Colonel. A City Council member told me that the Colonel discussed the internet reports completely with the council at his interview BEFORE the council ever offered him the job. They also said that the city administrator talked to many of the Colonels military commanders and coworkers about those reports before they offered him the job. So, the council checked the Colonel out completely, decided he was the right man, offered him the job and then a month later yanked it back. I even heard that they sent him an employment contract that he accepted and that’s he’d sold his house back east and was trying to buy one in Bishop. This council cares more about themselves than about getting the best people in here to lead this city.

  14. Chris July 29, 2014 at 5:53 am #

    Congratulations Jim !


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