“From city halls to county courthouses, from the State house to the White House – bureaucrats control our lives. Public servants who often try to become our masters. People whose salaries we pay, but what goods and services do we get? On Sierra Wave’s Bureaucrat Beat, we’ll report what they’re up to.”
We in the Bureaucrat Beat newsroom wonder how many problems have been solved over a few beers. Take the President. He invited more than one controversial figure to join him in the Rose garden for a brew, and it actually seemed to help calm the waters and improve communication. After all, in vino veritas.
So we were glad to hear that some of the primaries in the Inyo water issues sat down together recently at a local pub to click glasses. Water Director Bob Harrington, Rancher Mark Lacey, Sierra Club’s Mark Bagley and former Ag Commissioner George Milovich. Sometimes these people stand at loggerheads but not that evening. As Harrington said, “It’s good to talk to people.”
How true. So when the eight Mammoth Town Council candidates talked to people the other night, they did their best to comment on issues and handle probable jitters speaking in front of a crowd. There were some who ridiculed their performance. We in the Bureaucrat Beat Newsroom see things differently. These are people who got up out of their living rooms and actually filed to run for office. They have reasons for their attempts at service. They are not professional politicians. Let’s give them a chance and the respect we would give a friend. Then, before you enter the privacy of the voting booth, give careful consideration to the character of the individuals and how you think they might fill the job.
There would be nothing private about Southern California Edison shutting off your air conditioners in July, but there is a program you can sign up for to do just that and save money. If you are so inclined, you can let Edison have the power to shut off yours and you will get a credit on your bill. Big Brother comes home.
It was the home and cattle of a Nevada man that got everybody all riled up about grazing fees owed and property rights. BLM set up a “First Amendment Area” to control the protestors. Even Nevada’s
Governor said BLM went too far. Okay, you can put cattle in a corral but humans who want to express their rights of free speech?! I don’t think so.
Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval said, “No cow justifies the atmosphere of intimidation which currently exists or the limitation of constitutional rights that are sacred to all Nevadans.” Sandoval advised BLM needed to “reconsider its approach.” Apparently they did. It all quieted down. Cooler heads prevailed.
Martin Kleinbard of Mammoth asked a cool-headed question. In a somewhat heated discussion about ORMAT’s plan to drill up to 16 new geothermal wells in Mammoth, Water District officials warned that these plans could jeopardize the town water supply. They want a monitoring and mitigation plan. Kleinbard wanted to know if DWP would be affected since LA tried to take all of Mammoth’s water rights last year. One official said if DWP was more aware of the issue, they might say something about it but have too many other things on their plate. Ooookay.
Owens Valley Rancher Daris Moxley jumped onto DWP’s plate at a recent press conference about DWP’s solar project. She warned those present not to believe any DWP promise. “We have a Long Term Water Agreement that says they have to maintain the Valley as it was in 1981 and 82,” said Moxley. “They are drying up the Valley and we’re not getting the water they owe us.” She said it only happens with DWP in court.
Inyo County Counsel Marge Kemp-Williams said she would not let the issue of LA’s City Charter rest. She said DWP likes to use it “like a shield of some sort” when in fact there are legal obligations in the Long Term Water Agreement. And, so it goes.
With that this is Benett Kessler signing off for Bureaucrat Beat where we await your word on our lives in the Eastern Sierra and beyond.