Cocked and loaded for a high-level water meeting on Friday, Inyo citizens felt like deflated balloons when the news came.
The Standing Committee would have talked about a number of Lower Owens River Project items.
All week-long, plans surged ahead for a top level Inyo-LA Standing Committee meeting in Independence Friday afternoon. The two forever adversaries said they would talk about protocols for their own meetings. High time, since they’ve been meeting for something like 20 or 30 years. Their agenda also listed issues on the Lower Owens River Project, the Green Book revision – that’s the regime for controlling groundwater pumps, and issues on the Owens Dry Lake, as well as a report on the recent and weak LADWP land auction.
Inyo Water Director Bob Harrington said Friday that Inyo had posted the agenda for the Standing Committee meeting an hour or so too late to meet the Brown Act’s requirement of 72 hours. Harrington said he and others only came to this conclusion last Thursday night. He called it “an internal decision.” Harrington said Inyo wanted to adhere to strict compliance.
Asked if recent accusations of failure to obey open meeting laws had anything to do with the decision, Harrington said, “We’ve always tried and I believe have been Brown Act compliant.” Officials of the Big Pine Tribe accused the Standing Committee and Technical Group of Inyo and LA of violating open meeting laws.
Now, the Standing Committee meeting has been rescheduled for next Wednesday in Los Angeles. At 1pm at DWP headquarters at 111 Hope St. It’s unclear why the meeting is now in Los Angeles instead of in the Owens Valley.