LADWP tightens rules

Groups in the Bishop area – everything from the Boy Scouts to the Photo Club – are having problems using the Department of Water and Power meeting room at the Bishop headquarters. The Bishop Photo Club said that DWP has informed them that they will no longer be able to use their conference room unless a DWP employee is present. The Photo Club is looking for another meeting room for their nearly 25 members. They’re not the only ones. We contacted DWP Public Relations Officer, Chris Plakos about the change in policy. He said the safety and security of employees, customers, visitors, facilities and property is a priority for LADWP. Plakos said, “To ensure for workplace safety and the security of the LADWP Bishop Administrative Office, any meetings that are being held by the public at the office need to have an LADWP employee sponsor and attend the meeting.” Plakos said DWP understands the policy may be new for some groups who have held meetings at the office in the past without a DWP employee present. He said, “However, this is necessary and we appreciate the understanding and support of the public as we work to ensure the well being of all involved.” Some citizens speculated that this tightened security might be related to the incident at the end of August when DWP security crews locked down all offices in the Owens Valley to seize documents. Some type of internal investigation is reportedly taking place. It is unknown if the new policy on the use of the meeting room has anything to do with this incident.


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14 Responses to LADWP tightens rules

  1. Desert Rat October 26, 2012 at 8:00 pm #

    LADWP has declared war on the people and institutions of the Owens Valley and is fighting the war on all fronts. No more Mr. Nice Guy is their new policy. The gloves are off.

  2. Water Cooler Joe October 27, 2012 at 2:15 pm #

    With DWP’s recent hardline antics I would not be a bit surprised to start seeing parcels of land in the valley padlocked and posted. That’s one way to squelch any citizen complaints about them and their practices.

    • Big AL October 27, 2012 at 11:52 pm #

      DWP I think .. in this case is mearly reacting to complaints within their department, or departmental directives might be dictating them to do this?

  3. Really October 27, 2012 at 8:28 pm #

    Has the DWP ever charged groups for using there meeting rooms?? The answer is no!!! So I dont understand how this is news worthy, and why is it that BK never gives them praise for the good things they do and donate to our community? The people that work there had nothing to do with the land deal and water deals that took place. years ago. But they do try to help where they can, for lots of groups in our community. What would BK say if they stopped donating to the school programs or the various other programs they shell out for. BK I realize you hate DWP but some of us have made things possible with there help that would otherwise not be, please show some journalistic responsibility before they just say no to all the things some of need from them. Thank you

    • Benett Kessler October 28, 2012 at 8:52 am #

      We cover news that people contact us about. Several groups have expressed concern about this new DWP policy. There is no personal hatred for DWP here. They are a mega-entity with a great deal of power and influence in our communities. What they do or don’t do is important and is news. Los Angeles owns most of our private land, takes most of our water, provides scores of jobs, leases many acres to churches, businesses, sports leagues, ranchers, the county, the City of Bishop, the Town of Mammoth Lakes and many other individuals and institutions. Their control – psychologically and practically is enormous. When one entity has that much control and power – yes, it is the duty of news reporters to reveal anything they can about that entity. I’m glad DWP helps our communities in any way possible. Many DWP employees are good, caring and helpful people, but they don’t make the policies. It’s important that we all participate as good neighbors with one another. And, when someone violates those laws of good behavior, it can become news. No matter if you’re LADWP or a private citizen. Many others here, with far fewer resources than LADWP donate and help. We often don’t hear about it or report it. For what Los Angeles gets from our Valley, the least the big City can do is offer support from time to time.

      Benett Kessler

    • Trouble October 28, 2012 at 3:33 pm #

      really- dogs love their abusive owners also.

  4. Trouble October 28, 2012 at 11:51 am #

    Come on DWP, locking out the boy scouts now. Wow!

    • Mark October 29, 2012 at 8:09 am #

      If you follow current events you’d know the Boy’s Scouts are no better then the Catholic church when it comes to covering up the molestation of young boys.

      • JaneE October 29, 2012 at 11:16 am #

        Actually, they are. It is true that they did not report the abuse to the police or other authorities, but they did make sure that those involved were not able to ever be involved with any scouting activities again, anywhere in the country. That was not the case with the Catholic church, who passed abuser priests off to unsuspecting parishes without a single word of warning.

  5. Tourbillon October 28, 2012 at 11:57 am #

    Is there some reason that Inyo County cannot impose a resource extraction tax on the water LADWP takes? I understand that it is DWP’s land and water rights, just like oil belongs to the oil companies who lease the land for drilling rights, yet still must pay resource extraction taxes. Just like property owners in Inyo must pay tax on their property every year.

    Make it fair and simple: anyone who extracts water from Inyo and ships it out has to pay a resource extraction tax. OK now tell me why this cannot be done. Or is it being done already?

    • Benett Kessler October 28, 2012 at 12:24 pm #

      It’s not being done. Don’t know if it could be, but it’s an interesting idea.

      • Anachronism October 31, 2012 at 9:43 am #

        Unfortunately the LA DWP is always looking a hundred years into the future, and while the second aqueduct was being constructed, they had the California Constitution amended in 1966 to read as follows. Look closely at paragraph (e)


        SEC. 11. (a) Lands owned by a local government that are outside its
        boundaries, including rights to use or divert water from surface or
        underground sources and any other interests in lands, are taxable if
        (1) they are located in Inyo or Mono County and (a) they were
        assessed for taxation to the local government in Inyo County as of
        the 1966 lien date, or in Mono County as of the 1967 lien date,
        whether or not the assessment was valid when made, or (b) they were
        acquired by the local government subsequent to that lien date and
        were assessed to a prior owner as of that lien date and each lien
        date thereafter, or (2) they are located outside Inyo or Mono County
        and were taxable when acquired by the local government. Improvements
        owned by a local government that are outside its boundaries are
        taxable if they were taxable when acquired or were constructed by the
        local government to replace improvements which were taxable when
        (b) Taxable land belonging to a local government and located in
        Inyo County shall be assessed in any year subsequent to 1968 at the
        place where it was assessed as of the 1966 lien date and in an amount
        derived by multiplying its 1966 assessed value by the ratio of the
        statewide per capita assessed value of land as of the last lien date
        prior to the current lien date to $766, using civilian population
        only. Taxable land belonging to a local government and located in
        Mono County shall be assessed in any year subsequent to 1968 at the
        place where it was assessed as of the 1967 lien date and in an amount
        determined by the preceding formula except that the 1967 lien date,
        the 1967 assessed value, and the figure $856 shall be used in the
        formula. Taxable land belonging to a local government and located
        outside of Inyo and Mono counties shall be assessed at the place
        where located and in an amount that does not exceed the lower of (1)
        its fair market value times the prevailing percentage of fair market
        value at which other lands are assessed and (2) a figure derived in
        the manner specified in this Section for land located in Mono County.
        If land acquired by a local government after the lien date of the
        base year specified in this Section was assessed in the base year as
        part of a larger parcel, the assessed value of the part in the base
        year shall be that fraction of the assessed value of the larger
        parcel that the area of the part is of the area of the larger parcel.
        If a local government divests itself of ownership of land without
        water rights and this land was assessed in Inyo County as of the 1966
        lien date or in Mono County as of the 1967 lien date, the divestment
        shall not diminish the quantity of water rights assessable and
        taxable at the place where assessed as of that lien date.
        (c) In the event the Legislature changes the prevailing percentage
        of fair market value at which land is assessed for taxation, there
        shall be used in the computations required by Section 11(b) of this
        Article, for the first year for which the new percentage is
        applicable, in lieu of the statewide per capita assessed value of
        land as of the last lien date prior to the current lien date, the
        statewide per capita assessed value of land on the prior lien date
        times the ratio of the new prevailing percentage of fair market value
        to the previous prevailing percentage.
        (d) If, after March 1954, a taxable improvement is replaced while
        owned by and in possession of a local government, the replacement
        improvement shall be assessed, as long as it is owned by a local
        government, as other improvements are except that the assessed value
        shall not exceed the product of (1) the percentage at which privately
        owned improvements are assessed times (2) the highest full value
        ever used for taxation of the improvement that has been replaced. For
        purposes of this calculation, the full value for any year prior to
        1967 shall be conclusively presumed to be 4 times the assessed value
        in that year.
        (e) No tax, charge, assessment, or levy of any character, other
        than those taxes authorized by Sections 11(a) to 11(d), inclusive, of
        this Article, shall be imposed upon one local government by another
        local government that is based or calculated upon the consumption or
        use of water outside the boundaries of the government imposing it.
        (f) Any taxable interest of any character, other than a lease for
        agricultural purposes and an interest of a local government, in any
        land owned by a local government that is subject to taxation pursuant
        to Section 11(a) of this Article shall be taxed in the same manner
        as other taxable interests. The aggregate value of all the interests
        subject to taxation pursuant to Section 11(a), however, shall not
        exceed the value of all interests in the land less the taxable value
        of the interest of any local government ascertained as provided in
        Sections 11(a) to 11(e), inclusive, of this Article.
        (g) Any assessment made pursuant to Section 11(a) to 11(d),
        inclusive, of this Article shall be subject to review, equalization,
        and adjustment by the State Board of Equalization, but an adjustment
        shall conform to the provisions of these Sections.

    • Trouble October 29, 2012 at 6:21 am #

      Tourbillon- I like that idea. Bet DWP would go after our new born if we tried it.

    • JeanGenie October 29, 2012 at 11:12 am #

      Tourbillon: DWP pays property tax on their land. Crystal Geyser would also be taxed for resource extraction. Also water and oil have different rules governing their appropriation. Water rights and mineral rights are not the same thing, but I’m sure someone has proposed this type of tax before, but it probably can’t be done legally, otherwise you bet Inyo would’ve done it.


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