Idyllwild, wake up. Idyllwild Fire, Idyllwild Water and Idyllwild Community Center will continue to falter so long as Idyllwild businesses/de-facto leaders and the few who claim leadership refuse to recognize where the true weight of the mountain community sits, specifically with Hill-wide property owners not voters, the county and the state. I’m an optimist. As such, problematic cancer must be removed before we can thrive.

When you’re too small, long-term financing collapses as the focus just becomes day-to-day operations paying — the light bill — despite best efforts. Doubling sewer fees or ambulance property taxes without understanding is stupid. Using a recreation property tax account to fund an art gallery/convention center is an abuse.

Small-agency boards can’t effectively background check, manage or terminate employees as their friends and quite often they are deemed too critical to daily operations.

Natural disasters are particularly dangerous to small agencies. IFPD and IWD cannot muster an effective water production, EMS/fire suppression response to a disaster because current infrastructure, finances and personnel are too small, hence by inadequate financing, substandard.

The question must be asked: Why should just a few continue to fund small, volatile, substandard services without an accountable, Hill-wide management plan?

As for 92549, Emerson, Dickenson, Strong and Hannahs — contrary to popular belief — were divisive con-men. They divided this town physically and socially, benefiting their pocketbooks, which we continue to pay for.

Valley-Wide Recreation, an efficient, experienced and larger voter-based regional recreational group, would cohesively bond mountain recreation interests.

Cal Fire, through existing size and funding, would place a Cal Fire patch on the IFPD chief/employees and provide stable funding/professional resources not currently accessible to IFPD.

As for IWD, it needs to fix its weaknesses/failing water production infrastructure and make peace with its neighbors. IWD pumps Strawberry Creek into Foster Lake. When Strawberry Creek stops, so does much of IWD’s water production. Sadly, no local water agency can positively influence this negative conduct because of size, to the detriment of everyone.

Homeowners must understand what’s at stake. Small is dangerous in an isolated community when infrastructure personnel refuse to identify their limitations and weaknesses. Integrated and effective solutions require outstanding, unbiased leadership with proper legal weight, something that to date eludes this town.

Demand clarity and accountability as to the options possible. We control funding. We control the vote. We control access to grand juries. Make a difference. Don’t vote your emotions.

 Jeff Smith

Pine Cove