Mayor Don Robinson (right) of Banning, attended Idyllwild’s Mayoral Inauguration at ARF on Sunday afternoon and shook hands with Idyllwild’s new mayor, Max. Both agreed to work together. Photo by Barbara Reese


Max dressed for his inaugural ceremony on Sunday at ARF. Photo by J.P. Crumrine

By Monk
Special Correspondent

On Sunday, Max was announced as the elected Mayor of Idyllwild and was duly sworn into office at a lavish ceremony at ARF. Vice Mayor of Idyllwild will be Hogan.


Preceding the mayor’s inauguration, Marshall Smith, ARF poet laureate and emcee for the occasion, announced the newly elected council members and the Mayor’s cabinet and performed the swearing in ceremonies. He then swore in Max and Hogan. Janice Murasko, ARF secretary presented certificates and medals to all newly elected officials (see list below).

Don Robertson, the mayor of Banning, attended the ceremony and announced that he and Max would be working together for the welfare of the Pass and the Hill.

Idyllwild’s vice mayor, proudly wore patriotic trappings for the inaugural ceremonies Sunday. Photo by J.P. Crumrine

Murasko announced that ARF had raised more than $30,000 through the campaign and election. This is a significant addition to their finances, but ARF’s annual budget approaches $40,000.


The funds will help finance Sadie’s Clinic, Murasko said. Also there is consideration of developing a lottery to provide financial help to individuals who need it in order to spay or neuter pets.

ARF had requested Smith compose a poem for the ceremony. It can be found below. Local political pundit Ben Killingsworth’s reading of the tea leaves about the future direction of the new council and cabinet is online here.

Name Title Campaign Manager
Max Mayor Phyllis Mueller
Hogan Vice Mayor Madelaine Barnett

Council members

Ruby Doux Ron & Marcia Krull
Roxi du Dog Joanne Selby
Chip Gary Budnick

Cabinet members

Tots Sadie’s Clinic Ambassador Marilyn Kemple
Stitch Hydrant & Sanitation Commissioner Jerry Holldber
Inky “Litter”acy ambassador Julie Johnson
Dawson Outdoor Dining Commissioner Phyllis Brown
Winston Pet Safety and Welfare Maria Lehman
Cayenne Pepper Fashion and Beauty Commissioner Sandii Castleberry
Stoli ‘o Rocks Pet Advocacy Commissioner Susi Questad
Jojo Pet Recreation Commissioner Sandii Castleberry
Kula Pet Tourism Commissioner Bryan Talent & John Stonitsch
Lucky ARF Ambassador Kathy Keane
Paris ARF Cattery Ambassador Jennifer Adamson

I am four-legged
By Marshall Smith

I am four-legged,
descended from powerful prides and predatory packs,
rulers of our own dominions.

I have walked with you now for thousands of years
from your campfires to your farms to your cities.
Once fiercely independent, I have grown compliantly dependent.
Once wary and aloof, I now rush to the sound of your voice.

When you leave, my only thought is your return
Nothing is more important.
When you are happy with me, I rejoice and frolic
Nothing is more important.

When you are frightened, sad or ill,
I remain at your side, ready to protect, ready to comfort, ready to heal.
If you die or discard me, my world, in all that is important, comes to an end.

I then wait with fear for what may come next.
Will someone else love me as you have?

I am four-legged.
Look into my eyes and see the long road I have traveled to be with you.
Look into my eyes and see my ancient and regal past.
Look into my eyes and see, always, my love.

I am four-legged. I have had many names.
But the name of which I am most proud, the one I prize most is
Friend, your friend, your always friend.

At right, Madelaine Barnett (right) was recognized as the ARF Angel of the Year. Janice Murasko (left), ARF secretary, present Barnett with flowers and ARF’s gratitude for her help all year. Photo by J.P. Crumrine


Jennifer Adamson proudly helps Paris approach the podium as Paris was introduced as Ambassador to the ARF Cattery. Photo by J.P. Crumrine
Chip accepts his medal as one of three Council members.