At the adamant urging of Idyllwild Fire Chief Patrick Reitz last week, the district’s commission unanimously agreed to repeal all rules, regulations and policies adopted before Jan. 1, 2012. He and Commission President Jerry Buchanan emphasized that this resolution does not repeal any previous resolutions.
“I can’t enforce what I don’t know about,” Reitz stressed. He had discussed the proposal with the district’s legal counsel and explained it amounted to a housekeeping measure.
The district’s files apparently do not contain any policies prior to 2012 when Reitz was hired. Reitz said he has requested staff to bring forward any copies of rules or policies from before his hiring and has received none.
Commissioner Larry Donahoo asked if there were any policies being repealed that had not been revised in the past two years, since the commission has made a substantial effort to adopt new and specific board and district policies and regulations.
Also Commissioner Rhonda Andrewson asked “if it were prudent to do without some review since the district has existed since 1946.”
“I don’t know what they are,” said Buchanan. “No one could find any old policies … If I had a complete set I could review them, but I don’t.” He assured staff that if an appropriate but repealed policy surfaces, the commission will re-consider it then.
The commission unanimously approved the resolution.
In other business, the commission discussed roles of both standing and ad hoc committees. Buchanan made the commitment to “do a better job of spelling out the role of and duration of committees … and what do we want to accomplish with that committee.” This included a brief session with committee members on goals and objectives.
The discussion shifted from the general role of committees to the specific direction of the Vehicle and Equipment Committee, composed of commissioners Andrewson and Donahoo.
“The Vehicle Equipment Committee … has gone down a different path than what I requested from the board,” stated Reitz. “The purpose was to address capital needs of equipment; nothing more than capital issues.” However, he felt the committee was encroaching on issues involving departmental operations. “There is really no reason to go there and it’s extremely cumbersome,” he said.
“If we can’t get the committee back to where I requested, I request the committee be disbanded,” he told the commission. But Andrewson countered that the information she requested could have been requested whether she was on the committee or not.
“We will refocus for the next meeting on where this committee should go,” Buchanan announced.