Main Street parade will stay

bccAfter sometimes irate public response, the City of Bishop will not change the route of the traditional Christmas Parade down Main Street.

City officials said they have looked for ways to cut costs and still bring services to the people of Bishop. But when the suggestion went public to drop the parade route back behind Kmart and Vons, the reaction was a definite no. Police Chief Chris Carter told the City Council Monday night that 75% of those who responded were not in favor of changing the Main Street parade route.

City Administrator Keith Caldwell said there was “a lot of public comment.” He said that in some cases people blamed Chief Carter for the suggestion that the parade change. Caldwell said all City departments look for ways to do what’s best and to save money. The Administrator said, “Chief Carter should not be the fall guy. It was an opportunity for public input.”

The Chief said his department did gather quite a bit of input. He said he appreciated the calls and emails. He said he and Tawni Thompson, Chamber of Commerce Director, wanted the issue out there for response. Carter made it clear that he had no preference.

According to the City, the current Main Street parade route demands all uniformed officers be present to cover necessary street closures. The cost is about $3500. The proposed alternative route would have been less costly.

Councilman Jeff Griffiths asked if, as some had suggested, the Police Department could use volunteers on street closures? Chief Carter said he would not do that because of potential liability and legal issues. Council members thanked the Chief for exploration of the idea.

Chief Carter said he would support the parade route on Main Street unless the Council had other direction. They didn’t.


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30 Responses to Main Street parade will stay

  1. JeanGenie August 28, 2012 at 5:41 pm #

    I was irate too, if I was there my comment would have been, What the H E double toothpicks were they thinking about!

  2. upthecreek August 28, 2012 at 9:39 pm #

    “Caldwell said all City departments look for ways to do what’s best and to save money.”

    Here is one for you

    Cut your pensions and benefits…

  3. Big AL August 28, 2012 at 10:24 pm #

    It wouldn’t be the same .. going down a back alley … so to speak .. The traditional parade on main street is just that traditional ..

    In the past all of the agencies helped out with manning closures along the route, this freed up the PD to use only available officers on shift, along with CHP for major intersections. all others could be manned by Cal trans and county S/O.

    I’m not sure what they do now, but the city is counting it’s pennies .. so are the other agencies .. some things you just have to make due with in regard to tradition. To bad we can’t get volunteer work any more .. everything comes with a price.

  4. Trouble August 28, 2012 at 10:39 pm #

    Maybe Caldwell can play Santa and hand out skateboards to all our kids.

  5. skandar August 29, 2012 at 9:13 am #

    How do you quote people at the council meeting when no one from Sierrwave media was there ?

    • Benett Kessler August 29, 2012 at 11:19 am #

      Dear Skandar,
      The meetings are televised.
      Benett Kessler

      • skandar August 29, 2012 at 12:01 pm #

        I believe the audio was compromised for part or whole of the session on Ch.12.

        • Benett Kessler August 29, 2012 at 12:10 pm #

          Yes. Only the beginning part before Chief Carter. I texted Councilman Jeff Griffiths and the Chief to tell them about
          the audio problem.

          What is your problem, Skandar?
          Benett Kessler

          • Inyoite August 30, 2012 at 1:19 pm #

            Am I understanding that you texted a councilman during the meeting and he responded during a meeting by addressing your concern?

          • Benett Kessler August 30, 2012 at 2:25 pm #

            I don’t know if I was the first to complain about no audio, but it was fixed shortly thereafter.

      • Must be a mistake August 30, 2012 at 4:37 am #

        Mono County council meetings are not televised.

        • Benett Kessler August 30, 2012 at 7:15 am #

          The comment was about the Bishop City Council. The Mammoth Town Council meetings are televised and
          watchable on the Town website.

          • Gathering information August 30, 2012 at 7:44 am #


            So, how do you obtain information regarding Mono County council meetings. Do you personally attend them?

          • Benett Kessler August 30, 2012 at 8:08 am #

            There is no such thing as a Mono County Council.

          • Bureaucratic Reporting August 30, 2012 at 9:28 am #

            If you are not in attendance of the meetings, and as the meetings are not televised, how do you report on the Board of Supervisors, County of Mono, State of California regular meetings held the first, second, and third Tuesday of each month?


          • Benett Kessler August 30, 2012 at 10:18 am #

            In my 37 years of news coverage in the Eastern Sierra I have developed a long list of sources, official and otherwise,
            to whom I speak about issues that unfold at meetings and elsewhere. We don’t attend all of them. If there is ever any question
            you have about a meeting issue, please let me know.

            Benett Kessler

          • Who watches the watchdogs? August 30, 2012 at 11:18 am #

            Both The Sheet and Mammoth Times are represented at both town and county meetings. I guess these two sources have a problem with second-hand information through “reliable sources, official and otherwise.”

            In my (ahem) many more years than 37, I’ve come to rely on what I hear personally at any bureaucratic meeting and my belief is that this today is more important than ever. The “Trust Me” idea of journalism is … (ahem) a bit naive.

            Hope to see you at the meetings. The public deserves it.

          • Benett Kessler August 30, 2012 at 11:20 am #

            I watch all of the Town Council meetings on the web. I find no difference between that and being there in the flesh.

          • Sound reasoning August 30, 2012 at 12:31 pm #

            The fact that in every public governmental meeting, someone is on hand recordind and documenting everything, is based on some very sound reasoning.

          • Benett Kessler August 30, 2012 at 12:42 pm #


        • Big AL August 30, 2012 at 5:05 pm #

          I beleive we are talking about Bishop here .. right?

          • Big AL August 30, 2012 at 5:08 pm #

            Hmmm .. interesting

          • Benett Kessler August 30, 2012 at 5:13 pm #

            Yes, Bishop.

  6. Mike August 30, 2012 at 6:50 am #

    I’m curios that the chief just said no to volunteers? Seems like the city attorney should weigh in and give the council options, such as, volunteers can be used but the risk is xyz, or they could sign a waiver. Something smells fishy and it smells like overtime hoarding.

    • Benett Kessler August 30, 2012 at 7:10 am #


      The Chief called volunteers a reasonable suggestion. He said, “For the Bishop Police Department I would be very hesitant to ask volunteers to enforce road closures.
      There are numerous conflicts.” He said if someone decided not to honor a road closure, which has happened with some hostility, it would expose volunteers to risks and
      Bishop Police Department would assume liability. There could be workers compensation issues, volunteers could be hurt. He said, “We would not want to do that.”

      Benett Kessler

    • Benett Kessler August 30, 2012 at 7:17 am #

      Here are further comments from the Chief when he was asked about use of volunteers:

      “It’s a reasonable suggestion. For the Bishop Police Department, I would be very hesitant to ask volunteers to enforce a road closure.
      There are numerous conflicts.” The Chief said if someone decided not to honor the road closure, which they have with some hostility
      in the past, this would expose volunteers to risks and Bishop Police Department would assume the liability. He said there could be
      workers compensation issues if volunteers were hurt or injured.

      Benett Kessler

      • sierragrl August 30, 2012 at 7:45 am #

        I believe in Mammoth they use CERT volunteers to man road closures for the 4th of july parade…does Bishop have a CERT?

        • Dan Watson August 30, 2012 at 11:26 am #

          Mammoth Lakes does rely on Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) members to help manage road closures during the 4th of July parade. We would have a difficult time without their assistance. CERT members are classified by the State as Disaster Service Workers and they are covered by Workers Comp in the event of an injury that occurs while performing authorized CERT duties.

          I understand and agree with Chief Carter’s concerns about having volunteers staffing road closures if they don’t have this protection.

    • Russ Monroe August 30, 2012 at 1:11 pm #

      “The “Trust Me” idea of journalism is … (ahem) a bit naive.”

      Nothing could be more naive, or be a worse idea as a journalist, than to
      “come to rely on what I hear personally at any bureaucratic meeting”.

      Regurgitating word for word what a bureaucrat says in a public meeting, without doing the background research to know what is, or is not, truthful, is not journalism.
      Neither is trying to backhandedly slandering someone while cowering behind a pseudonym.

      • Big AL August 30, 2012 at 5:51 pm #

        What chief Carter is saying is true. It used to be, for the most part, people respected road closures in this case temporary intersection/road closures for the purpose of conducting the parade down main street.

        These events are advertised for weeks ahead of time, most of the locals know when it will occur, a fair amount of visitors know, transient traffic are the ones, that get surprised by it more than anyone else.

        The problem, historically has been with local traffic refusing to wait, and it is especially more prevalent in the time just before the start of the parade and after closures have been set up . People who can not seem to manage their time, feel they should be let go through a control point.

        In the past, volunteers from different agencies have helped man these closures, usually they were Cal Trans personnel and City of Bishop employees. Since these people are not (law enforcement) they do not have the ability to forcibly keep some one from going through the control point, only law enforcement can do that.
        For the most part people respect the closure even if they are pissed and or inconvenienced, but a few force the issue. The few, that do not have respect, and do not know how to act have caused problems, altercations.

        This leads to law suits even by the volunteers for any injuries, as well as the perpetrators who claim the volunteers have no right to stop them .. the scenarios are plentiful in how the departments can be held liable.

        The problem would be solved, if the departments and volunteers are protected in these cases from any civil actions from the money grubbing that is so rampant.

        A friend recently in a discussion about medical care. He said, if you want good care and if you are worried about whether you have any recourse for malpractice, do not go to Nevada for medical care, instead to somewhere in California, where there basically is no limit on how much you can ask for in civil liability charges.

        While we disagreed with him about the medical care, we did agree with him about the “Sky’s the limit” liability claims in this state. This is one of the top items that drains our state today, law suits.

        So my earlier comment about being a shame about not being able to get volunteer help for these things, well you might understand more why we can’t any more.


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