In my humble opinion as a formally trained mathematician by the University of California, adoption of Resolution 2011-261 by the Board of Supervisors for the advance of property tax revenue to the Idyllwild Fire Protection District, 3rd District, bankrupts the district in four months if salaries and retirement contributions are not immediately reduced by at least a third.

The board says it has encountered cash flow problems because of declining property tax revenue, even though their monthly revenue from ambulance rates has increased and property tax revenues have not decreased by $450,000. Note that the $450,000 advance is to be immediately repaid with interest before any other debt.

I point out that IFPD continually raised salaries far above other firefighter salaries such as U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, CAL FIRE, and subsequent public employee retirement contributions. IFPD compares their salaries to Hemet, who now seek a termination of their firefighter contract because it’s about to bankrupt the city.

Folks, they can’t pay the light bill and mortgage, let alone the salaries. They raised them beyond what a tax hike could temporarily fix without the tax hike in place — stupid, stupid, stupid.

I predict in a desperate move, IFPD will likely medically qualify more calls for transport to emergency rooms — perhaps to generate more revenue. Is it malpractice now, qualifying the current number of calls as emergency room certified? Please let us know why an increased number of emergency room qualifications is proper!

We have chief moonbeam running the district. I know he’s a local hero, but he doesn’t possess the skill set necessary to run a financially strapped small district. Terminate his services now. Find a chief who knows how to make the tough decisions so that this institution and the services it provides might be saved.

Jeff Smith
Pine Cove


  1. "Chief Moonbeam"? There is not a better description of the current "Chief".

    Desparate times call for desparate measures…rid the department of the "Chief"; declare a fiscal emergency and stop spending except for absolute essentials to support emergency response (yes, stop driving to restaurants for every meal because it costs about $8 for each round trip per vehicle); ask for salary reductions (like everyone else) or be ready to hand out layoff notices; develop a 10%, 15%, 20% and 25% budget reduction plan and stick to what is necessary based on revenue; bring the $ accounting back to professionals and out of the hands of an "administrative captain"; go back 5 years and figure out where the $1.4m went (since the "admin captain" was hired by IFPD?…coincidence I'm sure).

    The Board needs to take control of IFPD back and if necessary, see the reality of disolving the district due to their own lack of doing what they were elected to do….Measure G's outcome and recent board elections shows what the people want: Fiscal responsibility and accountabity has been demanded by the voters!