The Idyllwild Fire Protection District commissioners voted 4-1 to approve the first deficit budget in 46 years.

With another 4-1 vote, they have approved refinancing equipment to pay less now and more over time.

Without a vote, they approved a new employee contrary to the California code that governs the board’s conduct (see Health and Safety Code 13861 (d)).

Contrary to the California Constitution, which all board members swear an oath to support and defend, they allowed an employee to keep extra compensation. This violates Article 11 Section 10 (a) which reads “A local government body may not grant extra compensation or extra allowance to a public officer, public employee, or contractor after service has been rendered or a contract has been entered into and performed in whole or in part, or pay a claim under an agreement made without authority of law.”

June’s regularly scheduled board meeting agenda lacked the preliminary budget that is annually due on or before July 1. According to board policy, the board president is to plan the agenda and the board secretary is to review budget matters. Neither the president nor the board secretary put the budget on the agenda but they did remember to put the proposed tax increase on the agenda.

A special meeting had to be called to approve the deficit budget.

One last note, the tax increase, if it were to pass, would not affect this coming budget year because the board secretary must send in the request to the county to put our parcel fee on the county’s tax bill mailing on or before the public votes on Measure G.

The majority of the board (I assume by 4-1) will ask for an exemption or extension on that deadline. After all, why should these rules confine them.

Charles Schelly
Commissioner, Idyllwild Fire Protection District