The single largest expense for the Idyllwild Fire Protection District (IFPD) is the salary account. These newly increased salaries are inconsistent with a declining revenue base.
Aside from dangerous and poor IFPD decision making moving the district to insolvency by February, revenue must align with expenses.
Pay and staffing ratios are frozen by union contract and an intransigent association. That leaves three options, increase transports and revenue, a grave practice raising the question of mal-practice already under way, raise property taxes without fiscal cleanup of the district, or play the doomsday card.
IFPD should initiate a request for proposals of replacement fire and ambulance services. CalFire, Hemet Fire, AMR, and a number of other agencies will submit bids. I guarantee you this nine-person association (union) will see the writing on the wall.
Many professional and financial problems exist with this district and its employees jeopardizing the health and safety of members of this community.
I believe that various career members here are unemployable elsewhere because of past and current conduct. They will see the writing on the wall and will agree to cited contract modifications. I’m just not sure it’s worth saving.
However, a 10 percent salary reduction, mandated employee contributions to retirement, a two-tier pay and retirement system — one tier for existing and one for new employees — and professional training and certifications implemented by certified training facilities would be a start.