Water Department Moves South

A move with hard feelings. Tuesday, the movers showed up at the Bishop office of the Inyo County Water Department to load everything up and haul it south to Independence.

Staff members and the employees’ union had earlier objected to the move and asked for statistics and proof that it would pay off. The County Administrator and Board basically took the position that it was a command decision and a done deal.

The Union objected. Many pointed out that it appeared the Inyo Board had made the decision in closed session, in violation of the Brown Act. County Counsel Paul Bruce would only say that the Board had privately discussed a meet and confer process in connection with a water department move.

Officials refused to say more about the decision process and only concluded that the former Office of Education building is owned by the county and would cost less than renting the Bishop office.

Faced with more than $4 per gallon gasoline, employees, represented by their union, entered negotiations with the County for compensation for the fuel and the time it takes for most of the employees to drive to and from Bishop.

Some workers will, however, work closer to the Lower Owens River and groundwater pumps – both under the purview of the Water Department.

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