At the Bishop City Council meeting Monday night, newly elected officials stood up to be sworn in. Re-elected Council members Dave Stottlemyre and Laura Smith and newly elected Council member Pat Gardner took the oath.
Retiring Council member Susan Cullen graciously welcomed Pat Gardner and then the new Council turned to selection of Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem. Laura Smith was chosen as Mayor and Jim Ellis as Mayor Pro Tem.
City Administrator Keith Caldwell credited Inyo County Clerk Kammi Foote and her staff for a successful collaboration on the General Election. It was the first time that a City election was consolidated with the County voting. Caldwell said, “I hope this was the first of many collaborations. It went very well.”
More changes ahead for the City Council when Councilman Jeff Griffiths resigns to take his seat on the Inyo Board of Supervisors. CAO Caldwell said there are three options for filling his seat – a special election, which would be costly, appointment or a call for applicants followed by appointment. Caldwell thinks the third choice is likely. Nothing will happen until Griffiths resigns his seat. Caldwell said the City has 60 days after that to fill the vacancy.
In other City business, the Council did agree to waive the hiring freeze for a new police officer at the first of December and possibly a second officer in December. CAO Caldwell explained that six months ago a police officer left the department and that vacancy has remained open. He said that as of December 1 another officer is expected to move on. The City Council agreed to allow the two hirings. When that is accomplished, the Bishop Police Department will include twelve officers.
Reports have indicated that some Mammoth Police Officers, discouraged by the apparent move by the Town Council to eliminate seven of them, have interviewed to work in Bishop.
And, some good news for residents of Sunrise Mobile Home Park – the Council reduced the rent of those who own their own homes and rent land from the City by $25 per month.