As new residents to Idyllwild, my wife and I have been greeted with open arms and we just wanted say how appreciative we are.

Last night [Tuesday, Dec. 13], on a couple of occasions, I found it impossible not to voice my opinion as I attended the December [Idyllwild Fire Protection District commissioners’] meeting. This was my mistake. My intent was simply to sit back, watch and become closer to the new community, which we have joined.
I found the new board of commissioners to be very well educated and clearly well informed. That being said, we all know the old proverb, chose your battles wisely. Stand behind the people and they will stand behind you. Especially when it comes to one of our own firefighters.

Throughout the night there was much talk, by all commissioners, about the budget and any possible cuts that could potentially be made. Only once did I hear anyone mention the smartest thing to end the budget crises. The only option left is when Chief Walker said we need to increase revenue.

This is a very simple concept. The only challenge is, as a community, do we have the creativity and the ambition to figure out a way?

It is abundantly clear how important our fire department is to Idyllwild. I would propose that they accept any and all ideas on how they can raise money.

My only criticism to our board is a more conscientious approach to how the community views their decisions. Unfortunately, there is the potential of new ideas being drug down by old ones.

The [former] president [Pete Capparelli] is still on the new board. My compliments goes out to the new president, as she learns the procedures of the meetings.

She said she would pay for a $250 class out of her own pocket. However, the old way of thinking raised it’s ugly head when our former president said, “You shouldn’t have do that, we should have to pay.” I was glad his comment was ignored.

It is very clear, after looking at the income and expense statements, something needs to be done soon.

I know I will be doing my part in trying to come up with new streams of revenue for the fire department. And I can only hope you will all do the same.

Jeff Fehr

Editor’s note: During the week, Mr. Fehr and Chief Walker had further discussions. The result was the creation of an email address to which citizens can send suggestions to IFPD. the address is [email protected].