Kudos to Idyllwild Fire
A year ago, Idyllwild Fire Commissioner Dr. Charles “Chip” Schelly proposed a resolution in response to the State Controller publishing salary data from special districts such as Idyllwild Fire.

Schelly’s resolution, which was adopted unanimously, requires the district to post the salary data on its website (www.idyllwildfire.com) as well as payments greater than $5,000 to vendors and contrators.

At last week’s meeting, the commission approved the list of 2011-12 contracts that interim Chief Mike Sherman recommended for posting.

Here’s a brief summary:

  • The Emergency Medical Service contract with Riverside County to serve Pine Cove and Zone 3.
  • The CBD Management contract — this is for billing for medical services which IFPD provides, such as ambulance transports.
  • The cooperative agreement with Riverside County for provision of dispatch service to IFPD.
  • The Mobile Data Computer agreement with Riverside County.
  • The Kansas State Bank lease and the U.S.D.A. note for acquisition of two fire vehicles in 2008.
  • The PNC Equipment fiance lease for the Zoll Heart monitors in 2011.
  • The Annual operating plan with the Forest Service for mutual aid.
  • The recent contract between the commission and interim Chief Sherman.

I think this is very honorable and transparent step to keep the public informed of fire department business. In my opinion, it sets a standard for Hill public agencies.

Special Districts compensation payments
As I promised last week, the publication of local special district salary and wage information continues. this week, you will find the Idyllwild Water District data on page 22.

For those that unfortunately missed last week’s edition, the Idyllwild Fire Protection District data appeared then.

In March, when the state controller makes it available, we will publish three more local water districts — Fern Valley, Lake Hemet and Pine Cove.

Letters to the editor
No comments for or opposed to the new criteria for letters to the editor have been received. I wonder why some people who are brave enough to send private email blasts criticizing letters are afraid to share their thoughts and opinions with the whole community.

  1. One letter published every four weeks.
  2. Please try to keep your submissions to less than 451 words. Sometimes that’s difficult, especially when the subject is of broad community appeal. Believe me, I understand the limitations of this criterion.
  3. Unsubstantiated personal attacks will not be published. If you need to provide the rationale for the statement, you may append the evidence.
  4. Complaints about the operation of local businesses or individuals will be shared with the alleged offending party. This prepares them for its publication. Secondly, they may wish to respond in that issue or the next.

I invite everyone to consider these criteria and evaluate them from many perspectives, such as fairness to the author, to the community and to the paper, feasibility, appropriateness for the Hill, or other criteria of your own derivation.

Please share your thoughts with me. In a few weeks, I’ll publish all the letters, if anyone comments, about the policy.