What have been called “informal” public meetings will unfold this week in Inyo County over the issue of where to locate a new, $30 million court building – Independence or Bishop?
A public furor erupted in earlier months when Judge Brian Lamb announced that the project, planned for a few years for Independence, would suddenly go up in Bishop. Southern Inyo residents in particular strongly objected, siting the need to expand county services in the county seat which supports little else.
The Administrative Office of the Courts has maintained an somewhat secretive process, declining to reveal what exactly they are doing in regard to a site location. Now, the local judges say that public input will come first, then their recommendation to the Office of the Courts on a location.
The general public sentiment seems to be that the judges have already made up their minds on Bishop. They say this week’s meetings will be designed to hear from the people and answer questions.
All meetings are scheduled from 7pm to 9pm. The first meeting happens in Independence Tuesday, August 17, at the American Legion Hall. Bishop, Wednesday, August 18 at the First United Methodist Church. Big Pine, Thursday, August 19 at the Big Pine Town Hall. Tecopa, Sunday, August 22 at the County Building and Lone Pine, Monday, August 23 at Statham Hall.