City of Bishop Trunk or Treat
The City of Bishop is hosting their annual Trunk or Treat on Friday, October 16th. The event at the Bishop City Park will run from 5:30 to 7:30 pm.
Vehicle or booth registration is free. Booth and vehicle judging will be held at 5:45pm with Western Nevada Supply donating a BBQ. There will be a children’s costume contest for youngsters up to the age of 10. Bishop Youth Football and Cheerleading will have a concession stand on site.
For more information contact Karey Poole at Bishop City Hall. 760-873-5863.
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Bishop City Council Meeting Tuesday
The Bishop City Council will meet Tuesday, October 6th at 11am. The Special Meeting has been called to allow the Council to take three action items into consideration.
The agenda for the special meting includes action to approve a interim police chief agreement recently retired, former Chief Chris Carter. Carter’s final day with the Bishop Police department was Wednesday, September 30th. The short term interim police Chief agreement would pay Carter $54.52 per hour. If approved, Carter would serve as interim chief for 30 days.
The second action item would approve a services agreement with Ralph Andersen and Associates for the recruitment of a Chief of Police. If approved, the agreement would pay the recruitment firm no more than $26,000.
The third and final action item is a services agreement with a firm to investigate the claims of a September 16th “Letter of No Confidence” in then Chief of Police Chris Carter. The letter signed by 7 members of the Bishop Police Department was addressed to the City Council and local media. That letter included accusations against City Administrator Jim Tatum and Joe Pecsi and numerous claims against Chief Carter. Those claims include misconduct, violation of established policies, and conflict of interest. If approved by the city council Tuesday, the contact with Norman Traub Associates of Yorba Linda would pay the investigator $200 per hour plus expenses. The City Council agenda indicates the cost of the investigation will be paid through the City’s general fund.
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City of Bishop names Carter Interim Chief
City officials announce Chris Carter Short Term Interim Chief of Police and address the “letter of no confidence” issued September 16th. A statement released by the city today also confirms that they are in the process of soliciting an independent, outside investigator to investigate the accusations included in the letter.
CITY OF BISHOP STATEMENT
The City of Bishop has secured the services of the executive search firm, Ralph Andersen and Associates, to facilitate the hiring of a new Chief of Police. It is anticipated the hiring process will take 4-5 months and include a thorough background investigation. The vacancy is a product of the September 30, 2015 retirement of Chief Chris Carter. He will be ending a 31 year career in law enforcement, the final five years as the Chief of Police. Carter has agreed to return to the Bishop Police Department as a short term interim Chief under the classification of retired annuitant. The term of the contract will be for a period not to exceed 30 days and provide the City adequate time to identify a long term interim Chief, fulfilling the balance of the anticipated 4-5 month recruitment process.
Additionally, at the request of Chief Carter, the City Administrator and the City Council, the City of Bishop is in the process of soliciting an independent, outside investigator to investigate the accusations included in a letter regarding Chief of Police Chris Carter dated September 16, 2015. The letter was addressed to the Bishop City Council and numerous local media sources and was signed by seven members of the Bishop Police Department acting as individuals, independent of the Bishop Police Officers Association. It also included accusations against the City Administrator and a member of the City Council. Accusations to be included in the investigation will include, but not be limited to, misconduct, violation of established policies, conflict of interest, compliance with a formally negotiated MOU, misuse of government resources and violations of the Police Officers Bill of Rights (POBAR). Upon completion, any and all information resulting from the investigation and not subject to rules of confidentiality will be made available to the public.
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Officers pen letter of no confidence in chief
Seven Bishop Police Officer have pinned a letter of no confidence in Police Chief Chris Carter. The letter was signed by sworn officers Brent Gillespie, Mark Gutierrez, Doug Mairs, David Jepson, Jared Waasdorp, Bryan Rossy and Mike Mairs.
The letter was delivered to local media and the city council this past Thursday, September 17th. The letter was release while Chief Carter was on a scheduled vacation, not making him available to comment or respond. Chief Carter submitted a response Monday afternoon.
The letter of no confidence uses clear language in challenging Chief Carters integrity and ethics. “The Bishop Police Department has a cancer. That Cancer is CRONYISM in the form of Chief Carter’s unfair, unethical, hostile and retaliatory leadership.”
The five page letter of no confidence opens by saying, “It is with great regret that we, the undersigned officers of the Bishop Police Department, write this letter. Unfortunately circumstances leave us no choice. We have lost all trust, faith and confidence in Chief Carter’s ability to lead this department and continue serving as Chief of Police. By Fostering an atmosphere of hostility, retaliation and unethical behavior Chief Carter has brought morale to an all-time low. Retention and recruitment of qualified personnel is suffering. That is turn jeopardizes the safety of the community. Chief Carter’s unfair and inequitable treatment of Department personnel and his use of internal affairs investigations to intimidate officers can no longer be tolerated.”
Chief Carter, officer Dan Nolan, and City Councilman Joe Pecsi’s involvement with Sierra Tactical Training and Active Response Resources (STTARR) is also addressed in the letter. The letter of no confidence states, “Recently two on duty officers were in the Bishop Police department dispatch center. The Dispatcher told the officers he was updating the STTARR.net website at the direction of Chief Carter. The Dispatcher stated Councilman Pecsi had ask Chief Carter to have him (the dispatcher) update the website. Utilizing on duty subordinate Police Department personnel and city computer systems to augment him and his partners’ private business venture could be viewed as time card fraud or even embezzlement of city resources.”
The officers letter also questions the departments lack of updated training, “The Department has not had a qualification shoot or defensive tactics training since November 2014. Per the Bishop Police Departments Policy, all sworn personnel are required to qualify quarterly with their duty weapon on an approved range course.”
Department moral was also addressed, “In other instances where officers have tried to express concerns about morale or police issues, the Chief has told officers, ‘If you don’t like working here there are five (expletive) doors, pick one.’ He once told supervisors at a staff meeting that if any officers weren’t happy with the schedule they ‘Should go sell (expletive) shoes at Kmart.'”
The letter of no confidence also addresses officer issues with City Administrator Jim Tatum. “Several of the undersigned have also made the problems at the department know to City Administrator on numerous occasions. He has failed to act. More recently, the City Administrator chose to ignore lies and false statements made by a Department employee (and supported of Chief Carter) against an officer in an internal affairs investigation.”
Chief Carter’s Response.
It is my understanding there will be an official investigation, as there well should be, and I welcome it because I know what the truths of these allegations are. I assure you that while some of what has been said is true, the whole truth is not contained anywhere in their letter. I have been advised that because some of these allegations might amount to misconduct or even criminal conduct, I’m not obliged to make any statement and should not proceed without legal counsel. While I recognize the validity of this advice, I cannot and will not remain silent on this issue.
I would like the citizens of Bishop and any others who are concerned to take into account a couple of things: one being that I announced my retirement in July. These officers have had two months in the interim to go public with their complaints and concerns, and yet they chose to make these allegations on the day I left on a scheduled vacation and two weeks prior to my official retirement date. This isn’t a coincidence. Their goal has nothing to do with bettering the Department or exposing corruption. I believe this letter is a smear campaign, plain and simple.
This letter was signed by seven people, but authored by a single individual. Each of these individuals may have their own personal axes to grind based on our common history as subordinate and supervisor. This letter is not a correspondence from the Police Officers Association (union). There was no meeting held or vote taken, even though two of the people who signed this letter act as the President and Vice-President of the Union.
An internal notice of training regarding Range qualifications was sent out on August 22, 2015, to all sworn personnel, scheduling a Range Training for September 23rd. I’m aware we’re out of policy for our training and the issue was being addressed. This is yet another example of omission of facts in order to avoid presenting the whole truth.
Other quotes attributed to me are fairly accurate, however out of context they might be. I have no tolerance for those who still think this is a little league game. Not everybody gets a trophy (or promotion) for just showing up. We keep score here in the majors and I run a performance based system. I do play favorites. My favorites are those people who consistently give 111% and who solve problems and don’t whine about having to do their job. If you want a regular schedule with predictable hours and demands, K-mart is hiring. If you don’t like this job, there really are 5 doors in the building, pick one and I’ll help you pack. I respect professional attitudes and conduct. I will offer the opinion that for these officers to address their concerns in this manner is absolutely unprofessional and it might go a long way to explaining why none of them got a trophy.
There are many other allegations in the letter that will prove to be completely false, especially those that would call into question the integrity or character of Jim Tatum, Joe Pecsi and any other member of the Bishop Police Department. There is no conspiracy, no misconduct and no excuse for these Officers to attack others in their attempt to tarnish my reputation or my history of service to this Community. They can offer no proof of the validity of their claims but I can offer absolute proof of my innocence and that of others they have attacked.
In closing, I offer the following; I have done nothing illegal, unethical or immoral as your Chief of Police. I continue to serve at the pleasure of the City Council and will continue to do so while my replacement is sought. Should the Council choose other options, it has been my honor to serve them and this Community for the past 12 years and I assure you that the men and women of the Bishop Police Department are still serving and protecting to the best of their ability.
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Safe Routes to School
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Improving Downtown Bishop Parking
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Bishop Softball league wraps up season
The 2015 City of Bishop slow pitch softball season closes with the crowning of two divisional champion. The H.R.S. A and L Tire team won the Lower Division crown with the V.F.W. team winning the Upper Division. Photos provided by the City of Bishop.
The City of Bishop Community Service would like to congratulate the 2015 lower division softball champions H.R.S. A&L Tire. They had a season record of 9-2-1. Beating the first place team in the championship game. H.R.S. A&L Tire
The City of Bishop Community Service would like to congratulate the 2015 upper division softball champions V.F.W. They had a season record of 9-1 and battled through the playoffs.
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Agenda includes a public hearing for a Proposed Development on Home Street
Monday’s Bishop City County meeting will include a public hearing for the environmental review of the Kingston Subdivision. The proposed project is located on a 2.75 acre parcel that is currently home to the Bishop Nursery. As proposed the parcel at 785 Home Street would be subdivided into 15 residential parcels ranging in size between 5,104 and 8,232 square feet. Each parcels individual building pad would cover roughly sixty to sixty-five percent of the parcel area. The project would include the removal of the existing Bishop Nursery. Project proponent Bob Kingston stresses that the Bishop Nursery will stay open as the proposed development moves forward.
The Environmental Initial Study may be reviewed at the City of Bishop’s web site, www.ca-bishop.us. Comments made at Mondays meeting will be reviewed by staff and incorporated into the Initial Study. Final determination of the draft Mitigated Negative Declaration is tentatively scheduled for the July 27th city council meeting.
Kingston Subdivision information, http://bishop-ca.granicus.com/MetaViewer.php?view_id=1&event_id=131&meta_id=9709
Mondays city council meeting will also include a Inyo County update from 2nd district supervisor Jeff Griffiths, a Northern Inyo Hospital quarterly update from CEO Victoria Alexander-Lane, and the city council will be asked to take action to approve the purchase of a radar trailer for the Police Department.
The Monday, July 13th meeting of the Bishop City Council will begin at 5pm with a closed session and the open portion of the meeting beginning at 6pm.
Cover photo by Gary Young.
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Celebrate July 4th at the Bishop City Park
Free swimming, Baseball, pie and ice cream! America!
The City of Bishop will be hosting their Annual “Big Day at the Park” on Saturday, July 4th. Everyone is welcome to enjoy a day at the City Park to celebrate the Fourth of July with activities starting at 11:00 AM and ending at 4:00 PM.
Starting at 11 AM – For the spectator, come and watch an exciting Exhibition Baseball Game at Diamond Four; For some exercise, bring your tennis rackets and balls and play on the city tennis courts or check in at the City Pool Office to check out a bocce ball set or a volleyball to get started on a game of bocce ball or get some digs in this summer in our volleyball sand courts!
To cool off – come and join us at the City Pool free of charge from 11 AM to 4 PM! Live music will begin at 2:00 PM and FREE watermelon, ice cream, and pie will be served from 2 PM to 4 PM.
Don’t miss out on the fun! If you need more information please call Bishop City Hall at (760) 873-5863.
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