I still think the fire commission is fully responsible. For months, before the general election, it should have been warning us of crisis.
Instead there were only a few editorials in the paper (by our Crumrine) and letters from Jeff Smith. Buchanan (now commissioner) at the debate said not to vote for the increase, until money on hand and money to be paid was discovered.
Even after the increase was voted down, Capparelli made light of the half-million dollar increase, calling it business as usual. The voters rejected the incumbents and rejected the increase out of distrust for the commissioners.
Chief Walker thought the people would recognize the need and pay for it (even after the election, his bet was through grants, a new board, and a supported increase, he could maintain quality service).
But Idyllwild is a strange town. It would rather have a swimming pool than a ride to the hospital.
We all pay a lot for health insurance. Living on the Hill, far from a hospital or 24-hour clinic, is worthless without triple-A emergency response. Our fire insurance is worthless, if the whole town burns down.
Chief Walker fought for the pay of his men. They face far greater risks than Hemet or the average Forest Service firefighters. While we are evacuating, they will be staying to fight.
I bet they face greater risk than a Marine in Afghanistan.
Now we have a smooth-talking, money man for a Fire Chief (Sherman). We’re in a panic and he has the answers; short-sighted severe cuts to our emergency preparedness.
Repeal Capparelli (we voted him out), reinstate Chief Walker (go by the fire station, talk to Mountain Communities Fire Safe Council), see all the improvements he’s done for us in just the last 17 months.