IFPD commissioners Paul Riggi, Chip Schelly and Ben Killingsworth at an August forum on proposed Measure G. Killingsworth announced today that he would resign. Photo by J.P. Crumrine

(STORY UPDATED Sept. 27, 2011)

Idyllwild Fire Protection District (IFPD) Commissioner Ben Killingswoth has resigned. In a terse note to his commission colleagues and the Town Crier, Killingsworth wrote, “I hereby resign from my position as a member of the Idyllwild Fire Protection District Board of Commissioners, effective immediately.” The email notification was sent Thursday, Sept. 22.

At the IFPD’s Sept. 26 meeting, the remaining commissioners, in the absence of President Pete Capparelli, agreed to a process for replacing Killingsworth by the end of October or early November.

His resignation came as surprise to many people, including his colleagues. Just the day before, Killingsworth helped draft the loan request letter to Riverside County.

“[Ben] has devoted an exceptional amount of time to IFPD and the community for which we should be grateful,” said colleague and Commissioner Jeannine Charles-Stigall. “I wish him the very best in all things.”

Killingsworth was appointed to the IFPD commission in July 2008 to finish the term of Dr. Emily Shaw, who had resigned in June 2008. He was elected to a full four-year term in August 2009. During most of his tenure, Killingsworth focused on the agency’s finances.


  1. I'll say that the entire board is complicit here. Even Dr. Schelly holds responsibility for this failure. I am of the opinion that the current staff and their pay raises/retirement benefits have destroyed the current structure of the district. Its a death spiral into May 2012 and thats if the county gives them the money.

    Riv Co EMS should offer ambulance service to Garner Valley and Pine Cove. Enough with this unprofessional conduct.

  2. Jeanine Stigall sold herself as a change agent for the district. What did she do? She sold herself to Ben, Paul, and Pete and held a blind eye to the catastrophe that crashed inward. For that she should also resign. Good intentions have no merit when the product results in self destruction.Stupid is as stupid does.

  3. If you use the words “leech” be prepared to defend it. Leech implies absolutely no good. Ifpd personnel were purchased with a administrative mandate. Pay and professional certifications/training/conduct define my concerns.

    • Leech implies absolutely no good? "Concerns for professional certifications/training/conduct", and I will add concerns of integrity, character, ethics, and abilities at a cost of $1.7M of taxpayer dollars?…yep, that's a leech!

  4. I notice that steve kunkle and ben killingsworth are rotary members. Steve kunkle publicly solicited the identities of grand jury witnesses, a criminal act, and ben has repeatedly verbally with a foul mouth assaulted the public in meetings. Is that the conduct of idyllwild rotary members?

  5. How can a group of people who live in such a beautiful little town be such jerks?
    I came to Idyllwild in August and rent a house from Ben and Nancy. I have been treated with great kindness and respect by both.
    That is not the case with most residents of the hill whom I have had the displeasure to interact with. They are mostly rude and mean spirited. I was told by a neighbor that renters are trash. I have been yelled at in a local cafe and should you say hello to someone on the street, they usually just stare or ignore you.
    I find the nasty comments about Ben unsurprising but very sad. He certainly does not deserve it .
    Are most of you suffering from altitude sickness? Amazing!

  6. […] IFPD Commissioner Ben Killingsworth resigns – Idyllwild Town CrierSep 22, 2011 … IFPD commissioners Paul Riggi, Chip Schelly and Ben Killingsworth at an August forum on proposed Measure G. Killingsworth announced … […]

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