Tag Archives: inyo county board of supervisors

Inyo County Supervisors Seek to Bolster EMT Crews Due to Coronavirus

At the Inyo County Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday, March 31, 2020, the board unanimously approved a motion to request a waiver of the National Registry Test for Emergency Medical Technicians in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

This would allow the current group of individuals who are close to graduating from the EMT course at Cerro Coso College, to enter the workforce on an emergency basis without having to take the test.

Before students are allowed to become EMTs, the emergency waiver must be approved by the State of California.

The reason why the Inyo County Supervisors believe there is a dire need to reinforce the current EMT workforce is based out of the fear that there is a shortage of qualified technicians in the area. If some of the workers contract coronavirus, it could strap the already scarce resources.

Second District Inyo County Supervisor, Jeff Griffiths, spoke about the need for the waiver to get approved saying, “The state has stringent requirements on finishing the test in order to be licensed. The thing is, we are worried about if an EMT crew picks up a patient and are exposed to COVID-19. The crew would then need to be isolated, and we could run out of people to staff the ambulances. What we are asking is that the state waives the requirements, so we can get these people ready to help as soon as possible.”

Usually, the county could request additional resources in case there is a shortage of essential workers. However, Griffiths does not believe neighboring counties will be able to answer the call. The supervisor expressed, “We can reach out for additional help, but the problem is that everyone else is stretched pretty thin as well.”

Jeff Griffiths says the approximate twenty-three students who would be available to help out are a few weeks away from being fit for work. “It is hard to predict how quickly things will go with the state, but things are going faster during this time of emergency,” Griffiths expressed. “Students still have a little while left to complete coursework, but I am thinking it will be a few weeks till these students are ready to go. If the crisis drags out, we would like to have those resources available.”

Inyo Public Health Officer Gives Coronavirus Update

Inyo County Public Health Officer, Dr. James Richardson talked to the Board of Supervisors Tuesday afternoon. Richardson gave an update on where things stand relating to coronavirus locally.

“We have been having meetings with local healthcare providers and various industries in the county relating to coronavirus.” Richardson said.

There have been rumors circling around the Owens Valley of local individuals having COVID-19, however, Richardson made sure to debunk those myths. “There have been rumors of positive cases, but right now we have no positive cases.”

Though there are no confirmed cases in Inyo County, that does not mean there are not any hurdles for the Department of Public Health to jump through. Currently, there is a personal protective equipment shortage in the Eastern Sierra.

We are short on supplies of PPE, N-95 masks, and we have expired masks we are using in the meantime. We are ready as best as we can.”

Richardson talked about some of the steps his department is taking to curtail cases of novel coronavirus. He highlighted the four plans in place to deal with an incoming viral crisis: prevention, containment, mitigation, and lock down.

Richardson discussed how testing is the most important thing public health officials can do to prevent an outbreak of coronavirus. “We are trying to do our best to contain any new cases in Inyo County, and we are doing our best to implement testing. We need to test those who are positive [for COVID-19] and isolate them from the public.” Richardson said.

In the present, testing is not as effective as it could be according to the Inyo County Health Officer. There is currently a long wait time to see if a person has contracted coronavirus. “Right now, we are looking at ways to get back quicker test results. We were sending them to LabCorp, but we found out they send the testing back east, so we are working on getting results back quicker.”

In the near future, testing will be conducted in California, which will allow for faster results.

The most ideal situation according to Richardson, would be localized testing. “If we had testing at a local level, we would be able to confirm cases within a few hours to just one day.”

There is no timeline as to when localized testing of COVID-19 will be a possibility.

Clint Quilter Appointed Inyo County Administrator

By unanimous vote during closed session at its regular meeting Tuesday, November 6, 2018, the Inyo County Board of Supervisors appointed Clint G. Quilter to serve as the next Inyo County Administrative Officer. A contract outlining the terms of Quilter’s employment as CAO will be developed and brought to the Board of Supervisors for consideration at its November 13 meeting.

Quilter has been serving as Acting CAO since August 11, 2018.

His appointment is effective immediately and follows an exhaustive nationwide search began in July by a professional recruiting firm under contract with the County. The firm recently narrowed the field of applicants to six finalists from across the country. Separating Quilter from the pack were his mix of practical and executive leadership skills, knowledge of and experience with local issues, and a leadership style that emphasizes employee engagement and encourages communication.

“Before selecting the next CAO, the Board of Supervisors devoted resources to an extensive, thorough recruitment process and we took our time to ensure we had the best candidate, and the right fit, for Inyo County,” Board Chairperson Dan Totheroh said. “The recruiting firm presented us with several top-tier candidates to choose from and we believe we have selected the best person for this critical position.

“The Board of Supervisors looks forward to continuing its work with Mr. Quilter as Inyo County CAO, and is confident he will continue to bring innovative and constructive ideas and projects to the table, as well as provide for proactive, strong leadership for the benefit of County departments and employees and the public they serve.”

Quilter comes to the position with 29 years of local-government experience, including 21 years of executive level leadership.

Prior to his appointment as Acting CAO, Quilter served as Public Works Director for the past five years, leading a 58-person department with an $18 million budget and administering and coordinating the Airports, Engineering, Town Water Systems, Facility and Grounds Maintenance, Building & Safety, and Roads divisions. As Public Works Director, he also assumed ultimate responsibility for all County project management, and was a member of the Cannabis Working Group that helped to develop Inyo County’s commercial cannabis regulations.

Quilter relocated to Inyo County in 2013 from the City of Hollister, where he served nearly nine years as City Manager for the community of 38,000 people. Prior to that, he served as Hollister’s Public Works Director.

A native of Tonopah, Nev., Quilter is married and has three stepchildren with wife Sheyanne.

As CAO, Quilter will continue the duties he began as Acting CAO, including overseeing the administrative activities of the 424-employee organization; administering a $100 million budget as Budget Officer; providing professional and technical support to the five-member elected Board of Supervisors and administering and implementation of its policies and objectives; serving as Personnel Director; and advancing such initiatives as the new Consolidated Office Building and development of commercial air service at the Bishop Airport.

“I very much appreciate the Board of Supervisors’ confidence in me and am excited to continue serving the citizens of Inyo County in this new capacity,” Quilter said.

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Inyo bringing back Talking Water Workshops

Inyo Board of Supervisors set Talking Water Workshop

May 4, 2016
Submitted by the Inyo Board of Supervisors

THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS is resurrecting the “Talking Water Workshops” held last year to discuss water availability in the Owens Valley. The workshop will be held at 1:30 p.m. during the Board’s regularly scheduled meeting, next Tuesday, May 10, 2016, in Independence.

Last year’s workshops were held in light of the severity of drought conditions and the dire shortfall in water for in-valley uses proposed in LADWP’s 2015-2016 Proposed Annual Operations Plan. Although this year’s run-off forecast is markedly better than last year, it is still projected to be 71% of ‘normal.’ Additionally, in its 2016-2017 Proposed Annual Operations Plan, the City of Los Angeles Department and Water and Power included a footnote that, although it plans to provide 45,000 acre-feet of water for Owens Valley irrigation purposes,

“LADWP intends to pursue a [further] reduction in irrigation pursuant to the terms of the Long Term Water Agreement . . .”
This follows LADWP seeking to have the Inyo-Los Angeles Standing Committee pre-approve undefined reductions in irrigation at Standing Committee meetings on February 8th. It also follows the March 31st Standing Committee direction that the Technical Group meet “to develop a program, or programs, providing for reasonable reductions in irrigation Water Supply of Los Angeles-owned lands in Owens Valley and for enhancement/mitigation projects, and to submit the programs for consideration and possible approval by the Inyo County Board of Supervisors and the Department acting through the Standing Committee.”

Despite LADWP’s call for undefined reductions to irrigation and other projects identified in the Long Term Water Agreement, and  the Standing Committee’s direction to the Tech Group, the LADWP has yet to provide the County or the community with any written proposal to evaluate.

In anticipation that – despite, to date, the lack of a written plan being shared with the County, considered by the Technical Group, or available for public review – LADWP will again place this issue on the agenda for the Standing Committee scheduled on May 12, 2016, in Inyo County, the Board of Supervisors is being proactive and seeking input from all segments of the community concerning Owens Valley water availability and use.

The workshop is scheduled for May 10, 2016, at 1:30 p.m., in the Board of Supervisors Room, at the County Administrative Center in Independence. Following the workshop, the Board will consider the draft agenda for the May 12th Standing Committee agenda and provide direction to the County’s Standing Committee representatives.

The Board encourages those who are interested in learning about and providing information concerning the impacts and mitigation of reduced water availability in Inyo County to attend the workshop and share with the Board your comments and ideas.

cover photo by Gary Young

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Inyo County 150 Celebration

Inyo County Sesquicentennial Tuesday

Inyo County Sesquicentennial Celebration puts spotlight on History and Local Pie Bakers

submitted by Inyo County
March 21, 2016

While not everyone enjoys celebrating historic milestones, pretty much everyone enjoys homemade pie. And though there might be a slim number of pie haters out there, it’s a pretty good bet they like ice cream.

               Inyo County is covering all those bases on Tuesday, March 22, when the county marks its 150th birthday with an official ceremony on the steps of the Historic Courthouse in Independence, starting at 10 a.m., followed by a Community Pie and Ice Cream Social.

Mementos of the milestone will include a souvenir program, a tee shirt emblazoned with the Inyo County Sesquicentennial Logo, and a recipe book that serves up morsels of Inyo County history and about 50 tried-and-true pie recipes from local bakers.

               Everyone in Inyo County is invited to enjoy the ceremony on the courthouse steps, which will include some “pomp and circumstance,” with an Inyo County twist. For example, a local politician will sing the national anthem, and the music for the ceremony will be provided by the volunteer musicians of the Lone Pine Pep Band. There will also be proclamations, entertaining and educational featured speakers, and comments from dignitaries.

               The reward for “enjoying” that ceremony will be immediate. As soon as the group sing-along of “America The Beautiful” wraps up, and after everyone gathers for a crowd “selfie” on the courthouse steps, the assembled Inyoites will stream to the Independence American Legion Hall to consume slices of pie, scoops of ice cream and beverages.

               Since not even the most committed pie-lovers could sample all the pies on hand at the event, pie afficeinadoes will get the next best thing: dozens of pie recipes. The Inyo County Sesquicentennial Committee solicited pie recipes from many of the county’s bakers. Those recipes, along with a dollop of advice, were gently stirred until they were well-mixed. Next, a heaping dose of local history was folded in and the finished product is “Heritage and Humble Pie: Inyo 150 Sesquicentennial Celebration Keepsake.”

               The Keepsake will be available for free to those attending the event.

INYO 150 Keepsake PIE

               The 120-page pie book features all manner of regular pies, and more than a few specialty pies that will pique the curiosity of everyone with a working oven.

               First things first. The booklet starts with Inyo’s Paiute people and early explorers. Then comes pie crust. Several crust recipes are sprinkled throughout the volume. Big Pine’s Kevin Carunchio offers up a crust featuring vodka, Sandee Bilyeu, of Independence, reveals Katherine Krater’s “perfect pie crust,” and Pat Gunsolley of Bishop, guides bakers through a “classic pie crust.”

               Dangerous treks through Death Valley are recounted, and comfort is found in Furnace Creek Inn Date Nut Bread, a bit hit since about 1927.

               While pondering the early settlements and towns of Inyo County and the arrival of the US Army, readers can also consider a Maple Syrup Pie, submitted by Judy Peek of Lone Pine, who got the family recipe from her mother, Dee Collins.

               The arrival of miners and mining schemes balanced with the expanding population of farmers, families and business folks that eventually lead to the formation of Inyo County in 1866. Forming an Angel Pie, as directed by Sarah Sheehan, of Bishop, is much easier, despite the pie’s exotic roots in Colonial India. Exotic brandy enhances the Eggnog Custard Pie, from Shirley Ellsworth of Bishop.

               The start of the 20th century brought the “Water Seekers” from Los Angeles, followed by the Los Angeles Aqueduct, which gave Inyo County a unique combination of competing interests, governments and conflicts which endures to this day.

               Another, more enjoyable combination comes in the form of a Pumpkin Pie Cake, shared by Sharyl Stephens, of Fort Independence, from a recipe she got from her relative, Phyllis Hunter.

               Paying homage to the county’s ranching heritage is a Dutch oven strawberry cobbler, which Linda Arcularius, of Bishop, has been cooking and feeding to local cowboys and cowgirls for years during spring branding season.

               And of course, Independence Fruitcake Queen Nancy Masters submitted a recipe for Western Fruitcake and an essay on how “fostering civil society” has been accomplished in Inyo County, thanks to the Independence Fruitcake Festival.

               Also intriguing is the rather spiritual exercise that results in Methodist Pie, a heaven-sent recipe from Karen Scott, of Bishop.

               Offering a bit more sustenance is the Easiest Ever Chicken Pot Pie, from Linda Hubbs, of Lone Pine.

               Offering sustenance for those with a sweet tooth is an Easy Ice Cream Pie, submitted by Jennifer Duncan, of Independence.

               That sampling menu of pies is just a taste of the delights awaiting the county’s ambitious cooks and bakers between the covers of “Heritage and Humble Pie: Inyo 150 Sesquicentennial Celebration Keepsake.”

               For more information about the Sesquicentennial Celebration and the Heritage and Humble Pie Keepsake, contact the Eastern California Museum, 760-878-0258.

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Inyo Supervisors restocking SIH board

Inyo Board meeting Tuesday to appoint SIH board members

statement from the Inyo County Board of Supervisors

Inyo Board of Supervisors Will Convene in Special Session Tomorrow to Appoint a New Southern Inyo Hospital Board

INDEPENDENCE – The Inyo County Board of Supervisors has called a Special Meeting for the purpose of appoint a quorum to the Board of Directors of the Southern Inyo Hospital District. The meeting will be held in the Board of Supervisors Chambers at 10 a.m. tomorrow, Tuesday, December 29, 2015. The need to appoint a quorum – three members – to the Southern Inyo Hospital Board was necessitated by the recent resignations, in masse, of the entire Board of Directors for the Southern Inyo Health Care District.

The situation led one observer to comment, “The Southern Inyo Hospital ship does not have a captain or a rudder, and it’s in very rough seas.” The appointment of a quorum tomorrow will re-establish a governance structure to interface with State regulators, employees, the community and creditors, and make decisions about the hospital’s future.

Inyo County issued a press release last week informing the public that it might be necessary for the Inyo County Board of Supervisors to make emergency appointments to establish a quorum on the Southern Inyo Health Care District Board, and asking for letters of interest from residents of the Hospital District. Because of uncertainty about if, or when appointments might be necessary, the County announced that it would accept letters of interest on an on-going basis.

The agenda for the Special Meeting notes that letters of interest have been received from Richard P. Fedchenko, Jaque Hickman, and Mark Lacey. The agenda also notes that the Board of Supervisors will also consider nominations for appointment, self and otherwise, from the floor during the meeting.

In order to qualify for an appointment you must be a voting resident of the District.

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Supervisors Thank Board of Ed for Library support

Inyo Supervisor honor the Board of Education

Inyo Supervisors thanked Superintendent Dr. Terry McAteer and the Inyo County Board of Education for their contribution to Inyo’s Libraries. Dr. McAteer, through the Inyo County Office of Education committed $150,000 to upgrade and improve the Bishop and Lone Pine libraries. Inyo County Administrator Kevin Carunchio was thankful for the opportunity to honor Dr. McAteer and the Inyo County Board of Education, “Board action yesterday was long overdue. Dr. McAteer and the entire Inyo County Board of Education have been big supporters of the Inyo County free library system. Patrons of the library in Bishop or Lone Pine have seen the fruits of their labors. Those libraries look fantastic with the infusion of money from the office of eduction and Dr. McAteer. Its been a big collaborative process with library director Nancy Masters. Tuesdays proclamation was a small but sincere gesture from the board.”

In other action from this weeks board meeting, Inyo Supervisors were asked to rule on a request for a salary increase from Treasurer-Tax Collector Alisha McMurtrie. McMurtrie has been elected to the office three times and was asking for her salary to be brought in line with the County Assessor and Auditor-Controller. The board denied the salary adjustment, which would have elevated McMurtie’s monthly pay from $7,807 to $8,934. Carunchio indicates the timing of the request was a big consideration, “The board fully recognized and thanked the treasurer-tax collector for the many, many improvements she has brought to the office, in service to the county, and tax payers. The board indicated that they would like to consider the mater of a pay increase a little later in the year when the county has gotten through the budget process.”

The next meeting for the Inyo County Board of Supervisors is set for July 7th.

Cover photo by Arnie Palu,  left to right, Alden Nash (area 1 board member), David Hefner (area 2 board member), LeeAnn Rasmuson (area 3 board member), Mary Kemp (area 4 board member), Ted Pederson (friends of the mt whitney fish hatchery), Illissa Twomey (Inyo County Office of Education), Chris Langley (area 5 board member). photo taken at the Community Star Awards held May 19th.



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