Two new faces will join current President Jeannine Charles-Stigall on the Idyllwild Fire Protection District Commission in December. Nancy Layton, tied with Charles-Stigall for top vote-getter, and Rhonda Andrewson were elected to the commission in the Aug. 27 vote.

All three victors said they felt honored to receive the town’s support for this position.

Only 21 votes separated the top three candidates. The fourth candidate, former Fire Chief Steve Kunkle finished fourth, 67 votes behind Andrewson.

“I feel vindicated,” Layton said on election night. “I did expect to be close to the top, not that I’m overconfident; but I talked to people around town.” While she has helped organize and get the IFPD Auxiliary started, Layton said she will not be an officer or on its board.

“Now that I’m officially elected, I want to get up to speed and learn all I can,” she added. “I want to be the best, most effective commissioner I can be.”

Andrewson was also elated about her election. “It’s a great, great opportunity,” she said. “I want to jump on that budget. For me that’s my priority.” She also wants to find a path to reconciliation with Pine Cove residents. Whether that’s being active in County Service Area 38, Pine Cove Property Owners Association meetings or another forum, she wants their voices to be heard and will listen.

Layton and Andrewson will replace Commissioners Pete Capparelli and Dr. Charles “Chip” Schelly who chose not to seek re-election.

“Having been re-elected confirms for me that the voters want the commission to continue moving forward in the current direction — working on the budget in both cost reductions as well as making [it] more understandable for the public,” Charles-Stigall said.

Jerry Buchanan and Larry Donahoo will remain on the commission. They were elected two years ago.

The new board terms begin the first Friday of December.

Candidate Vote Percent
Jeannine Charles-Stigall 328 27.27
Nancy Layton 328 27.27
Rhonda L. Andrewson 307 25.52
Steven E. Kunkle 240 19.95
Total 1,203 100