Meet the Candidates Series: 4th District Supervisor Candidates: Don Bright

March 2- We are reposting these stories to help people stay informed for Tuesday’s Election, in alphabetical order. Make sure to vote!

 

The Big Pine Civic Club is sponsoring the 4th District Supervisor Candidates
Forum on January 21st 6:30 at Town Hall
For more information, contact Cindy 760/938-2868

DON BRIGHT, CANDIDATE, 4 TH DISTRICT

Don Bright has spent the last 40-plus years in the sky: half in fighter jets, the other half,
commercial jets. Now that he’s earth-bound, he’s jumped into an equally daunting
endeavor—running for the Fourth District Supervisorial seat.
In a way, he may be genetically pre-disposed. His father, Keith Bright, served on the Inyo
County Board of Supervisors and was a signatory on the Long Term Water Agreement.
Bright has employed some of his skills on the Search and Rescue Team, but feels he can
do more. “I’ve got extensive leadership skills when it comes to personnel,” he said, as well as
management expertise acquired over the last 40 years.
If elected, Bright has a to-do list, including increasing communication up and down the
chain of County command.
He’d continue the current collaborative relationship with the Los Angeles Department of
Water and Power in managing the County’s water resources. He also realizes that with that
relationship has come the primary revenue stream for Inyo: tourism. “People are drawn here,”
he said, “and they bring money into the economy.”
In discussions with area visitors, the theme is obvious. “It’s pristine,” they say. “It hasn’t
changed much.” While cows and horses grazing in the shadow of the Inyo and Sierra Nevada
mountains are an everyday visual to locals, visitors stop and take pictures.
Bright is big on sustainable recreation, much like the on-going Eastern Sierra Sustainable
Recreation Project headed up by Mammoth Town Councilmember John Wentworth, a project
that incorporates Inyo, Mono and Alpine Counties. Bright wants to see the on-going
development of recreation in collaboration with the federal agencies. “We need to have a
voice” in those plans, he said.
“Our economy depends on recreation,” he said. And, public access is the key. “We have
a world-wide audience here.” Considering Inyo’s relatively close proximity to the sprawl that is the Los Angeles metropolitan area, maintaining the landscape that draws tourism is important,
but there has to be a balance.
But, Bright is a realist. A crippling increase in gas prices, or a return of the five-year
drought and that caravan of vehicles northbound on U.S. Hwy. 395 will roll to a crawl as will the
County’s economy. With agriculture a close second to tourism, Bright is aware of the result of
another of five-year drought.
“The County’s been fiscally conservative,” he said. “And that’s good but we’re always at
risk for funding issues.” The answer, for Bright, is business development with a focus on training
and expansion.
The Big Pine Civic Club is sponsoring 4th District Supervisor Candidates Forum on
January 21 st at 6:30 p.m. at Town Hall on Dewey Street. The Independence Civic Club will hold a
candidate forum on February 3.

 

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