Inyo Grand Jury Report: Cops, Graves and the Economy

The Inyo County Grand Jury report is out. The jurors made recommendations on law enforcement, a cemetery, the economyandwater systems.inyo_courthouse.jpeg

Their report recommends that the County complete equipping all Sheriff's Department law enforcement vehicles with dash mounted video surveillance equipment, plus they advise BPD and CHP to have direct vehicle-to-vehicle communications capability.

In light of the big marijuana cultivation bust last summer, the Jury urged all local agencies to work together to maintain safety on public lands.

The Jury calls for some upgrades in the Juvenile Detention facility.

In the City of Bishop, the Jury recommends that the City and the police department should "vigorously search for a facility large enough to meet the needs of the Department."

Based on a citizen complaint, the Jury looked into the allegation that burial plots at Pioneer Cemetery in Bishop were inhabited but sold to be used again.

An investigation revealed poor records from decades past had caused this problem. The Jury recommended that people in a particular part of the cemetery be notified that there might be a previous burial in their plot, with an option to exchange plots.

The Jurors noted that the federal government has failed to pay Inyo County more than $2 million in PILT money – payment in lieu of taxes because of all the federal land ownership here. The Jury advises citizens to hold their federal legislators accountable.

The Jury also investigated Inyo County's declining economic condition. For one thing, they recommended the Board of Supervisors work with the mining industries to standardize procedures to promote mining. Generally, the Jury said, "The County Board of Supervisors needs to pursue any and all means of increasing revenue in Inyo County." They also suggest development of wind, solar and geothermal energy.

Don't fight lawsuits. They cost too much. The Jury says that has been the County's attitude and as a result the best interests of Inyo County are "often sacrificed." So, the Jury recommends establishment of a litigation fund.

The Jury also suggets examination of the loss of county department heads and the wage scale. The Jury suggests possibly combining positions to increase pay.

The Jury report also says that funding for the Lone Pine, Independence and Laws water systems must come from Inyo County. The recommendation is somewhat vague. It says the county should work on "resolving conflicts in public water system maintenance."

On schools, the Jury suggests a study on closure and combination of schools and districts to improve education.

 
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