I am constantly amazed at local governance whether it be recreation, water, fire or ambulance service. We must live within our means and not abuse that mandate with the same ole recycled quasi politicians and self-appointed leaders who want to build or protect or abuse personal power kingdoms.

You’ve seen them and so have I.

We need responsible and sustainable recreation that doesn’t rip off the taxpayers or nonusers.

Why would a few business people or land developers want to build a recreation center on an opened and continuing hazmat site made by other local business people?

The county has implemented a superior recreation model, hands down, sorry ICRC [Idyllwild Community Recreation Council].

As for ambulance service, we need a highly trained, Hill-wide professional staff. AMR [American Medical Response, the private firm with whom Riverside County contracts for ambulance service throughout the county] offers superior trained personnel with the newest training, far better than IFPD [Idyllwild Fire Protection District]. Their supervision and training structures ensure that only the best trained are employed and provide services.

No such ability exists at IFPD. What we have is what we get.

When it’s questioned, we’re told that local control is the only way to go or the chief knows best, code for “I’m the only one, like it or not, an overpaid local and incompetent but hey Rotary, locals, and town businesses, I’m your friend, keep me employed, and oh yes, trash the critics, too, in your private circles.”

The IFPD training mandate was stripped by the state and/or the county because of dangerous and unprofessional conduct that has placed Idyllwild residents in harm’s way.

With IFPD, collapse the district and its absurd fees and get a superior, accountable and highly trained fire service paid with only the existing property taxes.

What a concept, dissolve the district, pay less, and get a superior service.

Don’t allow any politician or employee to hijack the public mandate. As for those who have or do, pull their ticket, and for those who hide their ticket, terminate or pull our funding.

Let me say this another way. Allow the county to efficiently implement these services through the existing tax base or return the tax dollars through the formation of a community services district.

The current model encourages scandal, inefficiency and instability, not to mention it threatens the health and safety of everyone.

Jeff Smith
Pine Cove