Editor’s note: Mr. Rahman wrote a letter pubished in the May 3 Town Crier issue regarding the ICRC’s policies.

Acting ICRC Chair Dawn Sonnier responded online and in this letter.

Since [Mr. Rahman thinks] that our board’s decision to create a policy to ask for “suggested donations” for the use of the ICC property is “an embarrassment to ICRC and slap in the face to Mr. Dahleen,” I would like to encourage him to come to our monthly meetings so that he may know firsthand what is being discussed and why we implement the policies that we do. This way he does not have a construed or uneducated opinion to what is happening in his community concerning the community property.

I would like to inform the community why we, ICRC, are asking all parties who reserve the site to give a “suggested donation.”

ICRC pays property insurance ($3,000 per year), property taxes ($516 per year), water bill ($517 per year), electricity ($360 per year) and has a handicapped accessible public restroom ($1,214 per year) totaling $5,607 per year. We wholeheartedly agree that this community owns the park and should be able to use the park, but ICRC holds the deed and therefore must pay the bills.

We too are a nonprofit organization (like Ken Dahleen and have also “donated countless hours”), and we have to accumulate the funding to cover the costs of the community owning a park. Without the funding, the property would not be insured and no public access would be allowed.

I would also like to comment on the question of “why the concert series is treated as an afterthought instead of the very first priority of the ICRC.” It is not an afterthought; it is a priority on our large list of items we oversee.

When we discussed the policy with Mr. Dahleen about the “suggested donation” (which is only $10 per concert for a total of $70) his response was, “All is OK.” May I assure all that the Summer Concerts are on the ICRC calendar and are still going to be held at the site this year.

Also, last year ICRC spent over $500, as a request from Mr. Dahleen, to remove concrete so that he can have easier access to install his stage and equipment for the concert series. This only shows the positive partnership we have with Mr. Dahleen and his event.

My last response is about the playground issues. Currently we have three playgrounds in our area. The first playground is at the elementary school, only available during school hours for the children who attend the school.

The second is at Town Hall, not available at this time. And the third is a 20-minute drive to Hurkey Creek and everyone must pay a fee to use it.

Where are the other one or two to which you refer? I’m only curious as I have three kids and would love to take a look at them.

Also, the concern about the other playgrounds is one of the main reasons why I am spearheading the future Idyllwild Community Playground. Our community does not have access to any local playgrounds and I want to make sure we have a safe, free and insured place to go and play.

Also, this is not just a playground for the children (with three climbing walls, I might add) but it is a park for all, including Mr. Rahman, to enjoy. We will have a gazebo with picnic tables, park benches, game tables to play chess or checkers, and unique pieces of art to admire. This is a community-built playground that begins on June 13 and I hope to see you there!

Dawn Sonnier
Acting Chair of ICRC, General Coordinator of Idyllwild Community Playground