Tag Archives: bishop city council


City of Bishop to hold workshop on short term rentals

Posted by Seth Conners

According to Elaine Kabala from the Bishop Public Works Department, on Monday, April 24th, the Bishop City Council will hold a public workshop during the regular City Council meeting to garner public input on drafting regulations to allow for short-term rentals in Bishop City limits.

In the past several years, websites such as Airbnb and VRBO have increased the number of people renting out their home or a room in their home on a short-term basis (under 30 days) both regionally and nationally. There are currently a handful of short-term rentals available within City limits.

City Council held an initial discussion regarding short-term rentals with the public at their regular meeting on March 13th. Several short-term rental operators spoke in favor of regulating the use, saying that short-term rentals allow tourists a unique lodging option that can’t be found at local hotels. Some residents voiced concerns about allowing for a quasi-commercial use in residential neighborhoods. One hotel owner said that he didn’t mind allowing short-term rentals, but that they should be required to play by the same rules as hotels, such as meeting building and safety standards, and paying Transient Occupancy Taxes or TOT.

The City Council is interested in receiving further public input on the pros and cons of short-term rentals within City limits before directing staff to prepare an ordinance regulating the use. The workshop is open to the public, and will be held during the City Council meeting on Monday, April 24th at 6:00 pm at the Council Chambers at Bishop City Hall, 301 West Line Street.


Bishop’s second annual Town Hall Meeting is coming up this month.

Posted by Seth Conners

According to a press release from Elaine Kabala The Bishop City Council will host the Second Annual Town Hall Meeting on Tuesday, March 21, 2017 starting at 5:30p.m. in the Tallman Pavilion located on the grounds of the Tri-County Fair.

The Second Annual Town Hall meeting is intended to follow-up on last year’s inaugural Town Hall meeting, which focused on expanding the dialog between the local business community and City Hall regarding the challenges of operating a small business in the Bishop area.

Over 100 interested business owners and residents attended the 2016 Town Hall meeting to voice concerns, provide input, and offer suggestions on strategies City Hall can pursue to improve the business climate in Bishop for entrepreneurs and local businesses.  Suggestions voiced by participants included making Bishop a year round destination, parking issues, expansion of Digital 395, downtown improvements, and investments in tourism infrastructure, such as trailhead shuttles.

This year’s Town Hall meeting is themed Your City: Working to Support Bishop Businesses.  Similar to the 2016 Town Hall meeting, all business owners and concerned residents are invited to come meet with local officials and provide input on strategies the City can undertake to support local businesses.  This year will also feature presentations from a panel of local agency leaders to provide updates on the progress that has been made to address the public’s suggestions from 2016 and upcoming projects.

The panel will include Tawni Thomson from the Bishop Area Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau, Brent Green of Caltrans, Clint Quilter of Inyo County Public Works, and John Helm of Eastern Sierra Transit Authority.  City Council and staff will also be available to discuss projects being worked on by the City to support businesses in Bishop.  The discussion will be moderated by City Administrator Jim Tatum.

Participation is encouraged by all those interested in enhancing entrepreneurial opportunities region-wide, not limited to those either doing business or residing within the city limits of Bishop.

Although not required, RSVPs to ekabala@cityofbishop.com or 760-873-8458 would be greatly appreciated.  Questions regarding the Town Hall meeting may be directed to the same contact.


NIH CEO talks Finances

CEO presents fiscal picture for NIHD

March 17, 2016
submitted by NIH

Speaking before the Bishop City Council this week, Northern Inyo Healthcare District CEO, Kevin S. Flanigan, MD MBA, detailed patient volume trends for the first six months of the district’s fiscal year. He also went over the district’s fiscal positions, including steps being taken to better manage the hospital’s long-term debt.
Dr. Flanigan confirmed the district is refinancing its General Obligation Bonds issued for the construction of the new hospital. The move not only shortens the life of the bonds, it also results in a close to $3 million savings for county taxpayers.

“For the community as a whole, there is a big savings and it makes sense to do this,” he said. “For the district, it makes our long-term debt manageable and more stable, and not based on sporadic or rising payments. The taxpayers will gain more in this move than the district, but it’s a needed moved that will help the district shore up its long-term fiscal position.”

As for patients, NIHD is seeing an upward trend in volume but a decrease in case complexity. “We’ve admitted 10 percent more patients than last year, but as a whole we’re seeing significantly shorter hospital stays,” Dr. Flanigan said. “This implies that outpatient services are doing a much better job of managing our patients’ chronic illnesses, and that is having the intended consequence of shorter stays.”

Shorter stays do mean a drop in revenue for NIHD. For the first six months of the fiscal year, NIHD had a loss of $129,000.  The change also affected NIHD’s projected budget as does a late government payment that was scheduled to arrive in December. Instead it arrived a few weeks ago. Dr. Flanigan said had it arrived on time, the district would not have had a net loss on its books.

To offset the decrease in revenue, Dr. Flanigan has asked management teams to review their departmental budget for potential savings. “Our department managers have responded amazingly well and demonstrated a team approach to making these adjustments,” he said.

Dr. Flanigan said more timely government payments and judicious financial decision-making should have a positive impact on NIHD’s next six months.

NIHD’s department managers are currently working on their budgets for the next fiscal year. It’s anticipated that the NIHD Board of Directors will have a draft to review in May.

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Bishop Sticks with Stec

Bishop City Council Appoints Ted Stec Chief of Police

submitted by the City of Bishop

In the fall of 2015, the City of Bishop initiated a comprehensive search for a Chief of Police following the retirement of former Chief Chris Carter. The extremely successful recruitment process was facilitated by the Executive Search Firm, Ralph Andersen and Associates, with retired Police Chief Greg Nelson acting as lead. The process yielded 24 applicants which were put through a rigorous screening, reducing the field to 5 highly qualified candidates.
On January 5, 2016, the finalists participated in an exhaustive, individual interview process lasting approximately 90 minutes that included 22 questions covering a wide range of scenarios.

At its meeting of January 11, 2016, the Bishop City Council voted unanimously to appoint Ted Stec as the new Chief of Police. Chief Stec came to the City of Bishop in late October of 2015 to fill the role of Lieutenant/Acting Chief. Prior to coming to Bishop, the Chief spent approximately 25 years in law enforcement in Northern California, starting his career as a Police Officer with the City of Red Bluff. He then spent 5 years as a D.A. Investigator for Shasta County before moving on to Suisun City, California in 2006. Chief Stec was hired by the City of Suisun as part of a team whose mission was to rebuild the Police Department.

Ted is joined in Bishop by his lovely wife Dawn. In the two short months they have been here, the couple has already made their presence felt, participating in numerous community events as both spectators and volunteers. Please help the City Council and Staff welcome the Stecs to Bishop.

photo courtesy of the Bishop Police Department

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Bishop Business Town Hall Meeting Set

Bishop City Council to Host Town Hall Meeting

submitted by the City of Bishop

Bishop, California January 4, 2016 – The Bishop City Council will host a Town Hall Meeting on Wednesday, January 27, 2016 at 6:00 p.m. in the Tallman Pavilion located on the grounds of the Tri-County Fair.

The purpose of the meeting will be to receive input and begin dialog with the local business community regarding the challenges of operating a small business in the Bishop area.

The meeting will be the first in a series of workshops to facilitate the direct interaction between the City Council, City Staff, local business owners and members of the community at large. Participation is encouraged by ALL those interested in enhancing entrepreneurial opportunities region-wide, not limited to those either doing business or residing within the city limits of Bishop.

Although not required, RSVPs to jtatum@cityofbishop.com or 760-873-5863 would be greatly appreciated. Questions regarding the Town Hall meeting may be directed to the same contact.

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$hort Bishop City Council Meeting

Bishop City Council Meets in Special Session

by Arnie Palu

Three Bishop Police Department items were on the agenda for today’s special meeting of the Bishop City Council. The City Council took action to approve former Chief Chris Carter as short term interim chief. City Administrator Jim Tatum noted that Carter will serve as interim police chief on an as needed basis at a rate of $54.52 per hour. The short term agreement has Carter on board through the month of October. Tatum noted that the department is hoping to have a Lieutenant in place October 26th. Tatum indicated that the new Lieutenant would then serve as interim chief while the 4 to 5 month search for a Police Chief is finalized.

The firm completing that search had their revised contract approved today. The City Council voted 4-0 approving a professional services agreement with Ralph Andersen and Associates for the recruitment of a police chief. The agreement notes the recruitment firm will be paid an amount not to exceed $26,000.

Prior to the third action being addressed, Councilman Joe Pecsi and City Administrator Jim Tatum excused themselves from the council chambers. The third item up for action today centered on the council naming a firm to investigate the claims of a letter signed by 7 members of the Bishop Police Department. The “Letter of No Confidence in Police Chief Chris Carter” was delivered to local media and the city council on September 17th. The letter included accusations against City Administrator Jim Tatum, City Councilman Joe Pecsi, and then Police Chief Chris Carter. 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 memorandum of understanding, misuse of government resources and violations of the Police Officers Bill of Rights. Following a short discussion the three remaining council members, Karen Schwartz, Mayor Pro-Tem Laura Smith and Mayor Patricia Gardner voted to approve the professional services agreement with Norman Traub Associates. The agreement indicates that the city of Bishop will pay the investigators from Yorba Linda $200 per hour plus expenses. Also, in the event the investigator is required to provide testimony at a post-investigation hearing, deposition or trial, the fee is $250 per hour plus expenses.

Council member Schwartz raised concerns about the expense with Acting Legal Council Peter Tracy indicating the investigation could take months to finalize. Mayor Pro-Tem Smith acknowledged the expense saying however, “This needs to be done”.  Mayor Gardner commented, “We have to look into all the allegations”.   The agreement was approved on a 3-0 vote.

There were zero members of the public at Tuesdays 11am special meeting.
Ted Carleton of the Sheet and myself were the only two in attendance.
Councilman Jim Ellis was absent and excused.
The Bishop City Council will next meet on Tuesday, October 13.

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Unrest at the Bishop Police Department

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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Home Street Subdivision in the spotlight

Bishop City Council holding public hearing tonight

The Bishop City Council meets tonight (Monday, August 10th) with a public hearing set for the environmental review of the Kingston Subdivision.  Tonight’s hearing will focus on the environmental review for the tentative tract map for the proposed subdivision of the 2.75 acre parcel at 785 Home Street.  The site is currently home to the Bishop Nursery.  Under the proposal,  the lot would be subdivided into 15 residential parcels.  Tonight’s Bishop City Council meeting begins at 5pm for a closed session featuring a conference with labor negotiators and a performance evaluation of the public works director.

Tonight’s Open session is set to begin at 6pm at Bishop City Council chambers.  In addition to the public hearing on the Kingston Subdivision, the meeting will also include an Inyo County update from 2nd district supervisor Jeff Griffiths, department head reports, and the potential ratification of a memorandum of understanding with the Bishop Police Officers Association.

Cover Photo By Gary Young

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City Council Will Honor James Wilson

Bishop City Council honoring Wilson tonight

A moment of silence will be part of an acknowledgement by the Bishop City Council tonight.  The regular meeting of the Bishop City Council will include a time to honor the late businessman for his contributions to the community.  Wilson’s Eastside Sports has been a pillar of Main Street Bishop for decades.  The tribute to James Wilson is scheduled to take place directly after the council begins the open session portion of their meeting tonight at 6pm.  The Bishop City Council meets in their chambers at 301 west line street.

Tonight’s (Monday, July 27th) agenda includes a closed session at 5pm for labor negotiations followed by the open session.  The Inyo County Planning Department will make a presentation on the North Sierra Highway Corridor plan.  The department heads will make presentations to the council and Executive Director Tawni Thomson will present the Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau update.  Under new business, the Bishop City Council will consider the approval of changing two parking spaces on East South Street from unrestricted to 24 minute parking.  The council will also be asked to approve the city’s official response to the Grand Jury Report relating to the annual inspection of the Bishop Police Department.

Following tonight’s meeting the next regular meeting of the Bishop City Council will be held on Monday, August 10th.

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Bishop City Council

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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Bishop City Council Meets

Flower Baskets to Hard ball

The Bishop City Council had few action items on their agenda Tuesday night, but did receive a wide variety of information ranging from the placement of flower baskets to a budding adult baseball league.

The rare Tuesday night meeting opened with the council approving a proclamation recognizing the upcoming “Walk for Kids” on Sunday, June 7th.  Registration begins at 7am, with the walk starting at 8am.  The walk is being held on the 4th birthday of Bodie Ellis.  The walk is being organized by the Ellis family who became familiar with the Ronald McDonald House at Loma Linda when their son needed specialized care.  You can register for the walk at www.walkforkids.org/lomalinda

Fire Chief Ray Seguine updated the council on potential plans for remodeling fire station number 2.

Police Chief Chris Carter thanked all who helped out with the effort to close main street for the Mule Days Parade.  Carter reported no major issues during the recent celebration.

City Engineer Dave Grah reported that work on the Warren street improvement project continues.  The focus on North Warren is the instillation of concrete crosswalks.  That work is continuing this week and is expected to stretch into next week.  Grah expects the concrete crosswalks to help with stop sign and cross walk recognition, noting the goal of the design is to limit paint and signage.   Grah indicated positive feedback from a recent set of meetings held to gather public input on Active Transportation Planning.  The top requests centered on Bike transportation followed by residential sidewalk improvements.

Waylon Cleland had positive news on the parks and recreation front.  Cleland announced that the city has been awarded a $45,000 grant from the Toiyabe Indian Health Project.  Funds will be used to renovate fields 1 and 2 at the Bishop City Park.

City Manager Jim Tatum reported that the new downtown flower baskets and their watering system withstood the busy Mule Days parade.  Tatum explained that the flower basket concentration near main and line streets is due to the current availability of water.  Tatum indicates the city is hoping to expand the program with availability of infrastructure to support the watering system.  Tatum also gave an update on the “Big Day in the Park”.  The recent 4th of July tradition is taking shape and Tatum revealed plans to include a baseball game at field 4.  The game would include a collection of recent graduates who are playing or have played college baseball.  The hardball game would potentially serve as a springboard for a adult baseball league.

Bishop Camber of Commerce and visitors bureau executive director Tawni Thomson reported visitor numbers to the city park center are up.  The Month of April saw a 32% increase in visitors compared to 2014.  Thomson credited the spike in numbers to the Forest Service sharing the space and favorable weather.  Thomson reminded the council of the California high school rodeo state finals June 16th-19th.

In action items the Council voted 5-0 in support of posting “No Parking” signage at designated locations for the upcoming 4th of July celebration.  The “No Parking” signage will be posted on the morning of July 4th, and removed the following morning.  The council also approved a one year extension of the fuel supply contract with Eastern Sierra oil company/Thomas petroleum.

The next Bishop City Council meeting is set for Monday, June 8th, 6pm.

cover photo by Arnie Palu.  The Ellis Family and Kevin and Lis Mazzu address the City Council.

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