The Idyllwild Fire Protection District Commission established a Finance Committee last week that includes two commissioners, Chief Patrick Reitz and two members of the Idyllwild community.

The committee’s responsibility will be to assist the district in preparing and monitoring its budget, and making recommendations on financial issues. As a standing committee, its meetings and activities will be subject to the public notice requirements of the Brown Act, California’s open-government legislation.

Commissioner Jerry Buchanan proposed the idea several months ago and presented the resolution to the commission at the Nov. 12 meeting. It was approved unanimously, 4-0, in the absence of President Jeannine Charles-Stigall.

The only discussion about forming the committee was the pool for the community members. “I leave this up to the commission to discuss,” Buchanan said. The issue was how wide to cast the eligibility — whether to embrace the whole Hill or limit to only registered voters of the district.

Ultimately, after some comments from the public, Marge Muir, Pine Cove resident, urged the commission to consider property taxpayers in the district, even if they are part-time residents. “They have a stake in the district, too,” she said.

Attending her first meeting as commissioner, Nancy Layton volunteered to join the Committee for Negotiations and Labor Relations (or Meet and Confer). Former commissioner Pete Capparelli was the second member of the committee. Following his resignation, the only commission member was Buchanan.
Vice President Dr. Charles “Chip” Schelly recommended deferring a decision until the December meeting when Commissioner-elect Rhonda Andrewson would take office. However, the other commissioners voted to appoint Layton as an interim committee member until the new commission reformulates all the committees.

In other financial issues, the commission approved a contract with Kent McCurdy to serve as the department’s emergency medical services coordinator following the retirement of Capt. Mike Mulhall last year.

McCurdy’s responsibilities include training, representing the department with other agencies and quality assurance. He has been working with IFPD since March and projected costs were included in the approved 2013-14 budget.

IFPD received a $5,000 bequest from the Viv Larson Trust. The commission approved Reitz’s recommendation to allocate $4,000 to renovating the station and $1,000 for public education activities.
Reitz also confirmed that one case regarding overpaying health insurance still remains open.