Without debate, the Idyllwild Fire Protection District Commission unanimously adopted its 2012-13 budget. The commission had reviewed and discussed the current budget in June when it preliminarily approved it during its first August meeting.
The total budget equals about $1,663,700 and balances revenue and expenditures. The largest revenue increase, about $45,000, is from the new ambulance contract with the county. IFPD is projecting only a $7,000 increase from property tax receipts from all sources.
Chief Patrick Reitz said the district has had no response from Riverside County regarding its August request for a $425,000 advance, until December, of its property tax revenue.
In other business, the commission and Chief Reitz did have an extensive discussion of how to handle a gift of four dinner certificates valued at more than $150.
Both the chief and commission were grateful for the gift and the donor recognizing of the staff’s contribution to the community. The commission discussed of the broader and long-term implications of accepting gratuities from local merchants.
Chief Reitz adamantly told the commission that he should not accept personal gifts. He also discussed how the department should react in response to an individual’s grateful generosity.
At the end of the discussion, the commission agreed with Reitz that each of the three duty shifts should receive a certificate and Reitz could use the fourth as an incentive to reward performance or special acts.
In other business, the commission reaffirmed its prior decision to have two regularly scheduled meetings each month — the second and fourth Tuesdays. The need for the second meeting would be established at the first meeting.
The commission also approved several more board policies, which it has been doing since winter. Chief Reitz did request that some be deferred, including the proposed policy on public contributions. These will come forward in future meetings.
The department has inspected more than 2,300 Idyllwild properties this year of which about 75 percent have passed, Reitz reported. Nine properties have failed three inspections and another 550 failed the second inspection, he added.
The commission plans to schedule a workshop to establish goals and objectives for the chief’s future performance evaluations.