I wanted to print this in last week’s paper but was told that there was not enough room.

This is in response to the County Service Area (CSA) 36 meeting on July 27, where Bill Brown showed the community a list of issues from over two years ago that the county wanted the Idyllwild Community Recreation Council (ICRC) to complete. ICRC has complied to everything on the list from two years ago.

Here are examples from the list published in the Aug. 4 issue of the Town Crier:

  • Inadequate background checks. Not true. This [allegedly] occurred during Jimmy Campbell’s director tenure. He has since passed on and is looking over us, so I will defend his name. All employees and coaches have always been fingerprinted through the Sheriff or police stations.

    Live Scans are new. Newer employees and all volunteers have been Live Scanned. Fingerprints are confidential. One employee was let go during Jimmy’s tenure due to fingerprints.

  • Failure to submit an annual operating budget. Not true. The fiscal year begins in July. Check the CSA 36 meetings for February 2010 and February 2011. The Town Hall director turned in the annual operating budget for review six months in advance. Bill Brown never approved these budgets because he said the CSA 36 is running on a liquid budget. The accountant did not know what this means as Bill Brown never explained this to anyone.
  • Transporting children in private vehicles without proper insurance. Not true. There is proof of insurance asked by the county in writing. ICRC and Town Hall did have insurance plus personal insurance by the driver (all copies were at Town Hall). Also, the county turned down their request for a van.
  • Health insurance payments to staff who do not have health insurance. Jimmy Campbell received health insurance payments and a cell phone allowance. The recreation director [Bob Lewis] did not receive either of these payments. ICRC complied with all of these demands over a year ago for one other employee.
  • Misuse of public funds for private ICRC activities, including meals and snacks. Two years ago, Dr Pepper and snacks were purchased for a staff meeting. ICRC and Town Hall have not purchased anything for the Town Hall staff or private ICRC activities after that was brought up in the May 2010 CSA 36 meeting.

ICRC did not have a chance to stand up and talk after each item was listed at the last CSA 36 meeting. The county asked us to write questions on cards and turn them in. Not all questions were read.

We have moved forward, but I felt the community needed to know these truths now.

Kathy Lewis

Editor’s note: Mrs. Lewis appended this to her revised letter, read and agreed upon by Dawn Sonnier, acting chair of ICRC.