In the Long Term Water Agreement between Inyo and LADWP, the transfer of town water systems to the County was spelled out as mitigation for "long-term reduction of water available in the soil." It was a promise to residents of Lone Pine, Independence and Laws to keep water rates low so they could keep trees and plants green. Lately, Inyo Supervisors have talked like they might break that promise.
The transfer of the systems was ill-thought-out by county officials who failed to consider future costs. Now, Inyo Supervisors and others fear that they can not operate the systems properly without rate increases. That flies in the face of low water rates to mitigate for ground water pumping.
Tuesday, the Supervisors planned another workshop on the town water systems. In the past, Public Works Director Ron Chegwidden has talked about hiring a consultant to review the rate structure. The cost of a consultant could loom as high as $100,000. Meanwhile, southern Inyo citizens have reminded the Supervisors of the obligation owed them in the Water Agreement.
Also, Tuesday, talk of buying in-car digital video cameras for Sheriff's patrol cars. That's a major trend in most law enforcement agencies.
Following their announcement of the hiring of Kevin Carunchio as Inyo County Administrator upon retirement of current CAO Ron Juliff, the Supervisors will likely approve a contract with Carunchio for personal services as County Administrator at the monthly salary of $11,000. Carunchio, current Deputy CAO, is expected to take over when Juliff leaves at the end of the year.
From the Health Department, a request to approve a contract with Dr. Rick Johnson for Health Officer services from November of this year through June of 2012. The amount for those five years – $490,234, contingent on adoption of future county budgets.
Johnson has functioned as health officer for both Mono and Inyo counties.