I attended the Idyllwild Fire Protection District (IFPD) Commission meeting Tuesday night [July 12] and was very disconcerted by the unprofessional and self-serving behavior of Dr. Charles Schelly. Regardless of any animosity between him and other board members, his public display of animus was enough to confirm my regret for having voted for him.
Regardless of any merit of his legal argument against the finding of the Grand Jury (which calls for him to resolve his conflict of interest regarding his serving on the IFPD commission and being an IFPD paid-call firefighter), his presentation ignored the fact that it makes no sense for him to be both at once. But more importantly, it showed that he has only his own interests at heart. If he truly wants to serve the public that elected him, why does he not just resign his paid-call status and join the newly minted volunteer firefighters?
What I want to see in an elected commissioner is a selfless commitment to continuing to clean up the mess that was left by a past administration. The Grand Jury report deals mostly with that effort, unfortunately it did not recognize or analyze what has been started and is in progress under the current administration, and specifically under the leadership of Chief Norm Walker.
Dr. Schelly chooses to challenge the Grand Jury on his personal issue instead of doing what is right: comply with it. Perhaps his time would be better utilized by participating with the rest of the commission and continuing down the path of keeping the quality of service we enjoy in this community.
I admit that I disagree with his stance against raising parcel fees, but I could live with that difference of opinion if I thought his point of view was being presented in a respectful and proper manner. I believe that paying about what we pay for the privilege of hauling our trash to the dump is a small price to pay for the level of service we get.
We are a lucky community to have control over such a thing. Services are being cut at all levels, federal, state, county and municipal, but we have the opportunity to hang on to a vital service for the price of a bag of groceries. We just need to have board members who understand and support the logic of sustaining this community service and help get that message out to the public.