Inyo CountyLocal EventsNews

News Briefs from the Jan. 9 Inyo County Board of Supervisors Meeting

Screen Shot 2023 05 18 at 4.44.39 PM

News Briefs from the Jan. 9 Board of Supervisors Meeting 


One of the first orders of business for the Inyo County Board of Supervisors in 2024 was electing a new  Chairperson and Vice Chairperson on Tuesday.

During its first meeting of the year, the Board voted to elect Supervisor Matt Kingsley as Chairperson and  Supervisor Scott Marcellin as Vice Chairperson. Kingsley replaces Supervisor Roeser, while Marcellin will serve  as Vice Chairperson for the second year in a row.

Marcellin nominated Kingsley for the main position, saying that it was an honor to do so in what will be Kingsley’s  12th and final year as a County Supervisor. Marcellin said the nomination was also in deference to Kingsley’s  experienced leadership in what will be a year filled with major projects and transition.


Ten new employees were officially welcomed to the County of Inyo organization on Tuesday when they were  introduced to the Board of Supervisors.

The majority of the introductions were made by HHS Director Anna Scott, who recently brought on board the  following new staff members: Prevention Program Manager Vanessa Bigham, Prevention Specialist Lizz Darcy,  Assistant HHS Director Gina Ellis, Program Service Assistant Lisa Allsup, HHS Specialist Ethan Brown, Parent  Partner Stormie DeHaven, Residential Caregiver Jasmin Franco, Office Technician Jeffrey Garrison, and Office  Clerk Liisa Woodward.

Sheriff Stephanie Rennie introduced new Shelter Attendant Joseph Mulligan.

inyo county
HHS Director Anna Scott shares a moment of joviality with the Board of Supervisors while introducing new additions to her staff after many successful recruitments: (l-r) Parent Partner Stormie DeHaven, HHS Specialist Ethan Brown, Program Service Assistant Lisa Allsup, Office Clerk Liisa Woodward, Office Technician Jeffrey Garrison, Residential Caregiver Jasmin Franco, Assistant HHS Director Gina Ellis, Prevention Specialist Lizz Darcy, and Prevention Program Manager Vanessa Bigham.


Inyo County Water Director Dr. Holly Alpert has announced the publication of the 2022-2023 Water Department Annual Report in a hybrid format that accounts for both on- and offline audiences.

The report, which focuses on LADWP operations, groundwater, soil water, and vegetation conditions, used to  be published as the Owens Valley Monitor newsletter for the first 15 or so years of the Water Department’s  existence. The newsletter contained short articles covering the various activities of the Water Department and  conditions seen on the ground. In later years, and with advancement of technology, the annual report grew in  size and was primarily housed on the internet.

On Tuesday, Alpert told the Board of Supervisors that as of 2024, the Water Department will take a hybrid  approach to the annual report: a return to the Owens Valley Monitor newsletter, with executive summary-type  articles, and longer-form report sections and background information that will be posted to the website in their usual location ( for those  who prefer to get into the weeds, so to speak.


Inyo County Clerk-Recorder-Registrar of Voters Danielle Sexton provided an update Tuesday on the  approaching March 5 Presidential Primary Election.

In addition to noting upcoming deadlines involving crossover voting options, Sexton announced her team will  be in Olancha to provide early voting services from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on February 14 at the Fire Station, 689 Shop  St. Services available on site will include collection of mailed ballots, assistance with crossover voting,  registering and re-registering voters, re-issuing ballots, and answering voter questions.

Sexton also announced a 5th District Candidate Forum in Tecopa on Thursday, Jan. 11. The event was  organized by Supervisor Matt Kingsley – who is not running for re-election – and is the first of three planned in  Southern Inyo. A second forum, sponsored by the Independence Civic Club, will be held in Independence on  Monday, Jan. 29 at 5:30 p.m. in the American Legion Hall. The final forum is scheduled for 5-7 p.m. Wednesday,  Jan. 31 at Statham Hall in Lone Pine.

For more information about the 5th District race and election deadlines and services, visit


The Board of Supervisors approved the purchase of the OpenGov software platform on Tuesday as part of an  effort to shift from paper-based permits to online system for the benefit of both staff and the public.

The software will be purchased for an amount not to exceed $117,245, of which the City of Bishop will cover 20  percent. Sharing the costs for the purchase is a natural next step, considering the County and City already cost share to provide Building & Safety personnel through a Memorandum of Understanding. As part of the approval  on Tuesday, the Board also approved an amendment to the existing MOU to account for the software. The  Bishop City Council approved the MOU on Nov. 27.

The software platform includes online forms, online fee collection, online status updates, and generation of  automatic reminders as permit tasks flow from one person or department to another. According to Information Services and Public Works staff, the move will help reduce the processing time of each permit, increase visibility  and transparency, reduce uncertainty and time lost during inter-department transitions, reduce the amount of  time County and City personnel spend on certain tasks and, ultimately, increase customer satisfaction.

Paper permitting will not be eliminated altogether and staff will still be available in person to serve the public  and help them navigate the proper channels.


On what happened to be Law Enforcement Appreciation Day, Independence resident and business owner  Lauralyn Hundley took the opportunity Tuesday to thank the Sheriff’s Office for a recent, concerted effort to slow  down traffic in the small community by ticketing speeding drivers.

As noted by Sheriff Stephanie Rennie, speeding vehicles have long presented a serious hazard in the  communities bisected by U.S. 395, with at least two youth hit by vehicles in Lone Pine in the past year and one  individual killed in Independence. She told the Board of Supervisors she assigned newly promoted Lt. Mike  Atkins the task of finding solutions, and on Jan. 5, Deputy Phil West organized a traffic enforcement detail in  Independence. She said a whopping 54 citations were issued in a matter of hours by both deputies and officers  with the California Highway Patrol.

According to Rennie, this was the first of many traffic enforcement details to come. “We will be performing those  more regularly throughout all of the towns in the county,” she said.

It was noted that no revenue is generated for the County or Sheriff’s Office by these special traffic details, as  any fines paid by ticketed drivers end up in the court system.


Supervisor Jeff Griffiths had the sad task Tuesday of announcing to his fellow Board of Supervisors members  the passing of former Bishop City Councilman Martin “Smiley” Connolly.

Connolly, founder and longtime owner of Bishop Plumbing, served for nearly 20 years on the Bishop City Council  and held the position of Mayor more than once – including during the Bishop Centennial in 2003.

Griffiths fondly recalled serving alongside Connolly. “He was the old guy when I was the kid on City Council  when I first got elected,” Griffiths said, “and I remember his first piece of advice to me was, ‘Kid – don’t open  your mouth for a year.’”

Connolly was known for his clear-cut approach, sense of fairness, and wry humor. Even after retiring from the  Council, Connolly continued to stay involved in civic issues and community projects. He passed away December  6. Griffiths asked that the meeting be adjourned in Connolly’s memory.

5 1 vote
News Article Rating
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Related Articles

Back to top button

Adblock Detected

We make money by selling ads to out platform. Please show the advertisements so we can keep the website free to you. Support local news.