The forum held in Town Hall for the Idyllwild Fire Protection District commissioner candidates was a gross disservice to our community.
Town Crier graciously hosted this forum but the moderator and the candidates sabotaged every attempt to give the community honest answers.
According to the IFPD commissioner candidates, everything is wonderful. IFPD has no problems at all. Borrowing from the county at high interest rates is just fine.
Well, maybe we shouldn’t do it but why not; it’s only taxpayer money.
Sure, it’s OK to have one union representing both administration and rank and file. They are not colluding to gouge the taxpayer and overpayment is great.
What about County Service Area 38 in Pine Cove that pays IFPD $120,000 each year? The candidates replied that Pine Cove has nothing to do with IFPD and shouldn’t have any say about anything. Forget them until IFPD wants more money then force them to pay more for nothing more than standing by. This is what the commissioner candidates have to say about IFPD, an organization that is failing us all.
Vern Lauritzen of Supervisor Jeff Stone’s office moderated this fiasco of a forum.
Attendees wrote questions on cards and Lauritzen was supposed to read them. He edited out all the hard questions so the candidates got to gloss over problems and indulge in self-aggrandizement.
I read some of the questions before they were turned in and I wrote some of the questions. We wanted to find out what the candidates really thought about the things that are asked at IFPD meetings and Commission President Jeannine Charles-Stigall won’t answer.
A lot of thought was spent on carefully worded questions so time wouldn’t be wasted but Lauritzen rephrased them so they were bland and meaningless.
The candidates blathered on and on with inane platitudes insisting the finances were fine, the overpayment was fine, the union was fine, the accounting was fine, transparency was fine, borrowing with interest was fine.
We all know that none of these things are “fine.” These are ongoing problems that have plagued the district for decades and there is no remedy in sight with these candidates.
As the advertisement in the Town Crier says, “Just end it: write in Cal Fire” on the ballot.