Pine Cove Water District residents will have a choice of three candidates for the two director seats up for election in the August mail-in ballot election. Diana Eskew, a board member, who is in her first election, and two challengers — Sharon Kaffen and Timothy Lange — are the candidates.
Voted ballots must be received by the elections official no later than the close of the polls on election day or be postmarked on or before election day and received no later than three days after election day to be counted.
Before August, the Town Crier will interview each candidate. On Tuesday, Aug. 4, the Pine Cove Property Owners Association and the Town Crier will hold a candidates’ forum for PCWD voters. The forum will be from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Pine Cove Fire Station (Station 23).
The first candidate interview is with Tim Lange, a former educator.
Lange is a native Californian and has been visiting the Southern California mountains for many decades.
He was born in 1939 and raised and educated in Fullerton. He graduated from Fullerton High School and California State University, Fullerton. From there, in 1962, he began his educational career in Oakhurst as a teacher and counselor. Over time, he became a school psychologist and worked at the state Department of Education.
Eventually, after devoting 30 years to school and special education, Lange retired from Banning Unified School District in 1998.
When asked how he found Idyllwild, Lange replied, “Idyllwild found me. Since I was 8 years old, my family vacationed at Mammoth Lake and I fell in love with mountains.
TC: What will you contribute to the board?
Although Lange only moved to Pine Cove in December 2014, he has been an active volunteer ever since retiring. His contributions to Forest Falls were primarily volunteer projects for its Fire Safe Council.
“I was the special project manager and represented the Mills Creek Canyon FSC with the Inland Empire Fire Safe Alliance,” he said.
During his tenure with them, he led several projects, including a revision of the Community Wildfire Protection Plan and identification of nearby communities at high risk of wildfire. This was a joint effort with several federal agencies, including the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management.
“The initial study omitted a lot of the smaller, rural, unincorporated communities,” Lange said this was his reason for offering to revise it. The result of his team’s work was to increase the number of at-risk San Bernardino County communities from 43 to 65.
The work from this project contributed to both the National Fire Plan and the local CWPP.
“We were helping to hold on to the vital assets at risk,” he explained. “Anything I can do to contribute to safety and welfare of my neighbors is more fulfilling for me than money or other rewards.”
He is joining the Mountain Communities Fire Safe Council and has promised 100 hours of volunteer work to Executive Director Edwina Scott.
TC: With respect to revenues and water supply, what should customers expect in the next 12 months? … and the next five years?
Lange answered directly and without apology, “It’s too early for me to respond. I’ll need some time on the board.”
TC: Why do you think PCWD water consumption is starting to increase?
“Well, it depends on the percent increase,” Lange replied. “But that is subject for monitoring and a board discussion.”
TC: If you were to cut the budget, what are the priorities?
“I’ll be dedicated to fiscal analysis of all aspects of the budget,” he stated. “It will be systematic and collaborative following good-management practices.”
TC: Besides simply urging “conservation,” what else can the district do to prevent entering a Stage 3?
“Sometimes memories are short-lived,” Lange said. “It takes continual effort to keep conservation in front of the public. You have to train and educate the consumers.”
Lange also complimented PCWD’s current efforts to encourage water conservation. He sees technology playing a more important role in the future.
“For example, I’ve read that they are developing small generators which can use the water in pipes to produce electricity,” he said. “I don’t know whether that’s cost effective yet or still experimental. But the future will provide new tools.”
“I want to apply this effort to the water district,” Lange concluded. “The reason why is simple. I want to support what seems to be a pretty superior agency with a long history of service and subsequent awards. I enjoy people and being able to serve.”