Local leaders were at odds Tuesday when the issue of renewing the contract for the Inyo County film commissioner was brought to light.
The board was scheduled to approve a $40,000, one-year contract to retain Film Commissioner Chris Langley as a sole source provider for his services – but the issues of the perception of fairness versus preservation of valuable expertise collided at the dais.
When the county approves a sole source provider, it does not submit a Request for Proposals for the position in question, and does no outside recruitment.
Fourth District Supervisor Marty Fortney said he was unwilling to approve the sole source contract because he has spoken with other residents who said they were interested in the position.
He also said he had spoken with County Administrative Officer Kevin Carunchio about those people who wished to apply for the job, and was surprised to see the contract included in the county’s agenda packet for Tuesday’s meeting.
Carunchio said he was told someone had expressed interest in the position, but had not received any inquiries or applications, so he moved forward by presenting Langley’s contract to the board.
Fifth District Supervisor Richard Cervantes, for one, questioned the wisdom in opening up a unique, if not specialized, position such as Langley’s – which thrives on the establishment of important contacts in the entertainment industry.
He pointed out that Langley “has over 20 years experience in the movie business and has contacts throughout the industry. That’s why he was chosen for the job.”
The film commissioner’s duty is to actively market the county as a destination for commercial filming and photography and to act as a liaison between location scouts and production crews and local agencies.
The position was created in 2007, and Langley has held the position ever since, with