David Roy’s Harmony monument. File Photo

The July 21 dedication of David Roy’s “Harmony” created some friction and disharmony between carver Roy, his lawyer and monument dedication organizer Ken Carlson, and the new board of the Idyllwild Chamber of Commerce.


The issue surfaced after the raffle of a bear carved by Roy for the monument dedication. The money raised was intended to be used for monument maintenance and deposited in an account that the Chamber has long managed for that purpose.

In a July 25 letter, which Carlson sent to the Chamber board, he questioned the Chamber’s long-term plan for the funds. He alleged that a current Chamber director had stated money in the Chamber’s monument maintenance account could be used “for any project that the Chamber chose [reportedly quoting the director]” not exclusively for maintenance of the Idyllwild tree monument.

Because of their doubt over the Chamber’s position, Carlson and Roy deposited the $1,027 raised from the raffle in a separate trust account, according to Carlson, to ensure that money would only be used to maintain Roy’s “Harmony.”

In a July 30 response to Carlson, Chamber directors said they make no claim to the money raised by the raffle. They did suggest that Roy make “some kind of donation to the Chamber Tree Monument Fund as he [Roy] had people at the summer concert selling tickets and stating it was to benefit this fund.”

In a separate email to the Town Crier, they averred that the money in the Chamber’s monument fund is in a separate, dedicated account and the money “is used for, has been used for and will continue to be exclusively used for the care and maintenance of the Idyllwild Town Monument.”

The iconic Jonathan LaBenne monument. File photo

In addition to the questions over the raffle money, Carlson’s letter requested the Chamber pay Roy $1,500 for labor and materials involved in readying “Harmony” for its dedication. Carlson alleged that Chamber Director David Jerome “hired’ Roy with authority from the board to do so, to apply a sealer coating prior to “Harmony’s” dedication. Roy submitted an invoice for $940 labor and $560 in materials and lift rental. Carlson does not maintain that Roy and the Chamber signed a contract to reimburse Roy for time and materials. He does maintain that Roy should be paid the value of his services and for materials expended.


The Chamber board, in another email to the Town Crier, said they had not hired nor commissioned Roy to condition the monument for the dedication, but that they have invited Carlson to talk with the board about this issue. They noted also that “Any decisions made regarding Chamber business will be made by the Chamber board as a whole.”

Carlson also questioned how the Chamber’s dedicated monument maintenance account (about $11,300 on June 15, 2009 when Carlson was still on the Chamber board) had sunk to less than $4,000 as documented in recent Chamber financial reports. Carlson asked for an accounting on behalf of all contributors to that account.

Carlson said he has not yet reviewed the Chamber books, but a Town Crier review, with copies of checks written from July 2009 through July 2011, shows $7,375 drawn on the account for monument expenses, leaving a balance of approximately $3,900 or about what the Chamber is currently reporting.

Checks written to Roy totaled $6,000 and checks for costs to move the monuments were $1,375.