The Idyllwild Fire Commission acknowledged that it knew in advance about the March 20 letters to Riverside County terminating its contract for ambulance service to Zones 2 and 3.
In a special meeting following its April 10 regular monthly meeting, the commission adopted two motions both explicitly stating that it had been directing Interim Fire Chief Michael Sherman to prepare letters to terminate the service outside the District effective June 30.
The Commission’s Ad Hoc Ambulance Contract Negotiating Committee, composed of Commission President Jeannine Charles-Stigall and Vice President Dr. Charles “Chip” Schelly, had authority to approve the letters, which it did following the March 13 meeting.
At this meeting, the commission passed two resolutions directing Sherman to meet with IFPD’s attorney regarding the contract. But discussion during the session did not address the possibility of terminating the contract, which expires this June. Riverside County Emergency Medical Service Agency, headed by Bruce Barton, had been meeting with the IFPD Ambulance Contract committee on details of a new contract, when IFPD sent the termination letters.
In response to questions from the Town Crier, the commission held this special meeting to clarify that it was aware and was directing the Ad Hoc committee to take appropriate action to terminate both contracts with the county for service to Zones 2 and 3. During the special meeting, Sherman said, “There was contact between the attorney and the board on the question of whether or not we could terminate the contract.
“You didn’t fully understand what you could talk about in public and what you couldn’t,” he said. Consequently, he recommended the Commission clarify that it had been authorizing the Ad Hoc committee to terminate the contract.