Idyllwild Fire reelects Capparelli in 2-1 vote

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On Thursday, Nov. 10, Fire Chief Norm Walker (right) swears Pete Capparelli in as IFDP commissioner to replace former Commissioner Ben Killingsworth. Photo by Grace Reed

A divided Idyllwild Fire Protection District (IFPD) commission selected President Pete Capparelli to fulfill the final two years of former Commissioner Ben Killingsworth’s term. After a debate about how many votes were sufficient to make the decision, whether Capparelli could vote for himself and then a call for advice from legal counsel was the decision final.

Three men — Capparelli, Mark Spehar and Maxey Sparks — applied for the vacancy whose term expires in December 2013.

When the commission got to this item on the agenda, Capparelli, the commission president, stepped down, gave the gavel to Vice President Paul Riggi, and went into the audience area.

The three remaining commissioners — Jeannine Charles-Stigall, Dr. Charles “Chip” Schelly and Riggi — had no questions of the applicants and asked them to speak for themselves. Spehar and Capparelli spoke, but Sparks did not attend.

Stigall nominated Capparelli and Riggi seconded the nomination. They both voted “yes” and Schelly opposed the choice. He then said, that 2-1 was not a majority of the full commission (five members) and that another candidate should be considered and he nominated Sparks, whom the other two commissioners did not support.

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