Editor’s note: Thom Wallace is the newest member of County Service Area 38 (Pine Cove). Third District Supervisor Jeff Stone recommended his appointment, which the full board approved at its July 12 meeting. Wallace is a former high school teacher and was chairman of the history department for 18 years. This interview occurred on Friday, July 22.
How did you get interested in serving on CSA 38?
I got to know Jerry Holldber [CSA 38 Advisory Committee chair]. When Tom [McCullough] decided to leave the committee, Jerry told me about the vacancy and I applied.
But I get a lot of my information at the Pine Cove Property Owners Association meetings. Nancy Borchers, Annamarie Padula, Jeff Smith and Marge Muir share a lot at those meetings.
What is your view of the CSA’s priorities in the next year or so?
The first thing is getting to know who is getting a tax bill for CSA 36 or CSA 38 and shouldn’t be getting billed. [Wallace is referring to the issue of whether properties in the Foster Lake area are located in the correct CSA. The CSA 38 board has identified discrepancies in the past year.]
Are you familiar with the ambulance contract between CSA 38 and IFPD?
As [Idyllwild Fire Commission candidate Mark] Spehar said, the people in Pine Cove pay for services, too. We have $50 per parcel assessment [for the ambulance contract] and we ought to look at that.
As I’ve told students, “No taxation without representation!” We currently pay without a direct say so in the operations. Perhaps we should sit in the future negotiations over the contract changes.
Perhaps a [Community Service District] CSD would make sense for this service. It may make sense to put it to a vote.
What’s your view on inspections and abatement?
For two years in a row, they cited me and my neighbor for the lot between us. If I can find out the owner’s name (and offer to buy it), why can’t they find the right person?
We need inspections. They have no idea about inspection, but they [the county] has no money to do abatement or place liens, I’m told.