Norm Walker being sworn in as the new Idyllwild Fire Department Chief in August 2010. Photo by J.P. Crumrine
Idyllwild Fire Chief Norm Walker expects to leave the local fire department by end of the year.

“All I know is that [the commission] wants to go in a different direction,” Walker said Tuesday night. “I don’t know what that is. They want somebody who can take them somewhere else.”

The Fire District Commission has not released any official information since they went into closed session during their Dec. 20 special meeting. One of the agenda items during that session was the completion of the chief’s 2011 performance evaluation.

“Out of respect for Chief Walker and under the advice from IFPD’s legal advisor, the commission is not able to make a comment at this time,” President Jeannine Charles-Stigall wrote in an

“They’ve asked for my resignation, but I don’t agree with the reasons,” Walker added.

Walker said he feels the commission believes the district is facing a financial crisis. “I don’t agree, but it’s definitely challenging,” he said.

“It’s [the resignation] supposed to be effective Dec. 31. They apparently have somebody lined up for the interim,” Walker said, who apparently has shared the fact of his imminent departure with some county officials.


  1. My personal and agency experience with chief Walker has been exemplary. We had a fine advocate tor our community and a man who seemed to understand our needs and was certainly willing to work hard for all of us. His work and cooperation have made us a safer community.

    I add my voice to the concept that the Commission needs to rethink this and I believe the Commission also owes our residents a full disclosure of the reasons behind this unpopular act.

  2. I concur with other commenters…a sad and telling day. Telling as in personal agendas by unqualified, arrogant, and self serving commissioners! They are not serving the community, they are ineptly pandering to the inflated egoic mind of a single commmissioner, shame!!!

    • Wow, does everyone need to be reminded who "employed" the commissioners? Yes, the majority of the voting citizens in the same community that IFPD serves employed the commision thru a majority vote. The commission as voted into office to protect the interest of the community. You, the voting public, asked the commission to do a job, and they are doing just that!

      Instead of undermining the commissioners from doing the job YOU asked them to volunteer to do, give them some support for atleast doing something, which is more than the commissioners of the past have ever done…you are seeing the results of a historically complacent commission and department….FAT, DUMB, HAPPY, and almost BROKE.

    • Two isn't a majority vote, and if they aren't doing what the voting public hired them to do, RECALL them and get folks in there to take IFPD the direction the voting public wants.

      It's easy to be "knowledgable" (learn to spell it right…need to add an "e") and cyberbully behind a screen and keyboard; bring out the credible and verifyable FACTS under a legitimate forum (Grand Jury, RCO DA, RCO B of S, sorry but not the TC) and oust those that are using their official position to execute their personal agenda! BUT, be ready for what you are asking for….being "knowdegable" with verifyable facts requires two or more independent sources that supports a claim…I doubt the key term "independent" can be substantiated in this community without making an unsubstantiated claim one's personal agenda.

      Give the commission some support with positive suggestions under the proper forum (attend the meetings!!!) and wait and see the results of their recent actions. It won't take more than a month to see changes if the changes are allowed to occur…otherwise RECALL them!

  3. A vote of "no confidence" in regards to the commissioners should be put on the table for a GENERAL PUBLIC VOTE! Hired to do what's best for the community as a whole, was why they were voted in, however what they are doing is speaking volumes that they're going in the wrong direction. If they can be voted in, they be voted out. Unless, of course they swallow their pride, resign and give someone who cares about the people, those who work & live there a chance to get it right!

  4. Time has shown the reasons behind Walker’s requested resignation. He failed to acknowledge the fire department’s financial crisis, failed to implement the board’s budget cutting ideas, and backed the career staff’s agenda almost to the point of bringing OUR local FD to extinction. It’s not about popularity. It’s about financial solvency. Walker did not have tbe skills. Nice man but not up to the task.