Last week, Idyllwild Fire Commissioner Chip Schelly failed again to get the issues of transparency and board evaluation on the agenda.

The other four commissioners feign deafness when he broaches the subject. Apparently, they suffer blindness when he appeals in writing, too.

After years of the TC barking at local boards about open government, Pine Cove Water District got the message, earning a Transparency Certificate of Excellence from the Special District Leadership Foundation.

To earn the award, special districts must demonstrate a commitment to open government, including “ethics training for all board members, open and public meetings, and filing and availability of financial and compensation reports. A district must also fulfill multiple website requirements to demonstrate the availability of all kinds of information to the public,” as related in J.P. Crumrine’s June 13 story.

It is this example Schelly urges the IFPD board to follow. But the other four commissioners prefer to operate secretly.

The blatant obviousness of this came the same night when not only did the commissioners discuss overpayment of employee medical benefits, but a new issue — the underpayment of overtime.

This shocked members of the public who attended the meeting, as underpayment of overtime is a new problem with this financially troubled district. Did it shock the commissioners? It should have but it didn’t.

It was business as usual, at least the way IFPD does business — secretly, behind closed doors. Phone calls, emails, golf course discussions. However they can get business done. These are called serial meetings and are forbidden under the Brown Act, the law specifically for local governments.

Listen to Schelly. The public is appalled at how you’re handling their money. One lady stopped by my office recently who is so disgusted she’s voting for Mayor Max for commissioner.