Bureaucrat Beat: Who Make$ What? Brain Power and Compromised Senate

Bellorama has churned out more gasp worthy headlines. You know, Bell, CA where the public officials looted the city moneytreasury for the most outrageous salaries anyone has ever witnessed. The City Manager, according to the LA Times, would rake in more than $1.5 million in salary and benefits this year. How did all of this happen to a more or less low income town in southern California? No one was watching. Keep that in mind when you feel tempted to gripe about news reporters and busy bodies who demand accountability.

Speaking of that, how about our local government salaries? We will check out what we can get. It is all public information. The City of Los Angeles Controller Wendy Greuel has posted all LA government salaries on line. Good for her! Oh, except for DWP salaries. No explanation. But everyone knows LADWP is a kingdom unto itself. Hey, we did talk to Mammoth’s Finance Director Brad Koehn who filled us in that on the Town of Mammoth website you can find all personnel MOUs and salary schedules. Go to the website and then to personnel and check it out. Good job, Mammoth.

Did you see the story about toys based on brain waves? Yep. It’s happening – two games already on the market use the same technology science employs to diagnose brain disorders. You wear a headset and tell the game what to do, and by gosh, it does it. Does this mean our brains really do have power? Watch out what you think, it just might happen. Of course, some of those thoughts you’ve had could really get you in trouble!!

We in the Bureaucrat Beat Newsroom briefly had bad thoughts about our air cooler, whose motor died on one of those 105 degree days. Luckily, one of our own replaced it and we survived. Then we saw the headline that said, “Astronauts fail to remove broken cooling pump at space station.” Yikes! The same dratted stuff happens in outer space, where of course no gravity helps the guys climb up ladders to fix the stuff. No romantic life there!!

Nothing romantic about a cop shop report in the Bishop and Big Pine areas where police and deputies have responded 22 times to complaints about one man – Bill Bowers. At an incident at the Big Pine Chevron, some onlookers alleged heavy-handedness by a deputy as he tried to get an unruly and reportedly drunk Bowers into the patrol car. Officers had responded to a report that Bowers was brandishing a knife. Sheriff Bill Lutze said the deputy did his job, trying to get the man into the car. Bowers, Lutze said, spit at deputies and other unmentionable things. He said Bowers did pull away and hit his head on the patrol car. Anyway, no complaints filed and apparently a chronic problem for local law enforcement. We received several phone calls on this one.

Here’s a good one. A New Yorker magazine reporter shadowed the U.S. Senate for a couple of weeks and found that they do a lot of hob knobbing but rarely deliberate over bills and issues. Oh, swell. But, then, as one of our listeners pointed out – why should they deliberate, they’ve already received lobby money from big corporations who dictate how they vote. Yikes. It really is true. This is the issue we want these derelict representatives to face. Fat chance of that.

Back on the local scene, when will the Inyo Water Commission get busy and solicit new members to give new life to the body. Of the three remaining, Paul Lamos’s term expired and he’s just filling a seat. This group almost died for lack of interest, but after members of the public urged them to keep going they did. But, they’ve got to keep going with meaning. Hey, you guys are the link with the Inyo public and the watchdogs on the Long Term Water Agreement. No small task.

With that, this is Benett Kessler signing off for Bureaucrat Beat where we await your word on our lives in the Eastern Sierra and beyond.


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