County Service Area (CSA) 36 is losing several valuable resources, including current chair Carol McClintic. McClintic, who has served as chair for less than a year, tendered her resignation, effective immediately, citing conflicts with increasing work demands. That leaves three members and two open seats on the committee whose duty it is to oversee operation of the county recreation contract and area streetlights. McClintic announced her decision at the Thursday, Dec. 8 meeting of the Advisory Committee. With McClintic’s departure, Vice Chair Bob Schraff will head the committee. With only three out of five directors, all three remaining must attend in order to have a quorum.

In addition to the loss of McClintic, the Idyllwild District Recreation program, now managed locally as part of the County Economic Development Agency, has lost use of the playground at Town Hall because of documented safety violations. Once the county became responsible for recreation, it was obliged to conduct inspections of both the playground and Town Hall itself. Town Hall will be inspected within the next few weeks, said EDA Idyllwild representative Mike Franklin.

Franklin reported that, after county inspection, the Town Hall playground is closed until such time as it can be modified or replaced. Discovered safety violations included inadequate footings on some of the equipment, bolts with exposed edges (county requires either inset or rounded, so as not to cut or scratch equipment users), exposed electrical wiring on an adjacent tree, inadequate chains for swing sets, and no impact surfacing to reduce potential for injury from falling. Franklin advised that full replacement or major modification of the playground would likely trigger, through county planning and building and safety, the need for ADA compliance.

Nick Todd, president of the Idyllwild Chamber of Commerce, said that the Chamber would investigate steps to replace or modify the playground. “We might have some avenues to go with,” said Todd. “Replacement could take the scope of the project beyond just the playground,” advised Franklin. The Chamber is titular owner of Town Hall and adjacent grounds, including the playground. Todd requested tabling further discussion of playground replacement until the January CSA 36 meeting.

Franklin reported that the Idyllwild Recreation District is currently using an existing county van for Idyllwild Recreation purposes until such time as the CSA and the county examine whether to purchase a vehicle for exclusive district use. Franklin said that would be discussed once the county has reviewed how the budget has progressed over a sufficient number of months of county management to make budget projections. McClintic asked Franklin to explain why a van purchase is being considered now and not while the Idyllwild Community Recreation Council (ICRC) had managed recreation. Franklin explained that only county employees could drive vehicles purchased through the CSA. Although the CSA is funded through local assessments, the county manages and is responsible for CSA expenditures, and holds title to capital purchases funded by CSA funds. Now that Idyllwild Recreation is county-managed and employees are county employees, purchase of a dedicated Idyllwild vehicle is legally possible, according to Franklin.

He also commented on the budget for the four months of county control, starting in August. “The level of service has not gone down but it’s safe to say we’ve controlled the budget better and will have some more [money] left over for new programs,” he said.

Recreation Manager GeGe Beagle reported that Idyllwild Recreation at Town Hall will be hosting an open house from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 15 for residents to meet new program instructors, part of the district’s pilot program to provide classes of interest to the community. The first month of classes are free to the community. After that, if interest is sufficient, classes would continue and cost $10 per session. Classes include theatre, cooking and dancing. The recreation district is interested in expanding its menu of classes. Contact Beagle or Amy Righetti if interested in becoming a paid instructor. Classes are offered in monthly increments.

Any local residents who live within the jurisdiction of CSA 36 who would be interested in filling the two vacant CSA 36 Advisory Committee seats should contact Opal Hellweg, Stone’s legislative assistant, at (951) 698-7326. Committee members are appointed by the Supervisor and serve without compensation.