The Idyllwild Fire Commission’s focus last week was introspective. At its Oct. 23 meeting, the commission established a committee to review labor and management relations and discussed how to present its agenda and meeting minutes.
Commissioner Jerry Buchanan initially recommended that an ad hoc committee be established to examine recent state changes to public employee pensions. He has been following these statutory changes for several months and told the board, “time to appoint a new committee for pension reform and major changes … to deal with existing CalPERS requirements … and all labor relations.”
His colleagues concurred and voted 4-0 to create the committee. Commissioner Dr. Charles “Chip” Schelly was absent. President Jeannine Charles-Stigall appointed Buchanan and Commissioner Pete Capparelli to constitute the committee.
At the next meeting, Nov. 27, Buchanan will report to the commission on the issues the committee may address in the near future, such as the definition of a full-time employee.
The commission then devoted time to discussing changes to the format of its agenda and meeting minutes. Buchanan urged the commission to adopt simpler and more concise documents.
“The last couple of sets of minutes, I’ve had trouble going through,” he told the commission. “The motions have been unclear and it’s four paragraphs before learning whether the motion passed.”
Buchanan described several past minutes as akin to verbatim discussions of what was talked about instead of a summary of the actions taken. He stressed that the commission’s adopted policy specifies “concise minutes.”
Idyllwild resident Chris Fogle recommended the board “boil the discussion down to a few summary bullet points” rather than getting rid of it entirely.
The commission also discussed the merits of identifying whether possible action should be “new” or “old” business. The consensus was there is value knowing whether an item had previously been before the board and why no action had occurred.
“I like ‘old’ [identification] because I can look back at previous agenda and see why we didn’’ take care of it the first time,” Charles-Stigall said. Agreeing with her, Capparelli added, “It’s still an action item, but it shows we’ve been dragging it on.”
The commission gave direction to Chief Patrick Reitz to make changes to the preparation of its agenda and minutes for future meetings. The next IFDP commission meeting will be Tuesday, Nov. 27.