Jerry Buchanan last week was re-elected president of the Idyllwild Fire Protection District’s commission. He has served in that position since December 2013.
Her colleagues also re-elected Commissioner Nancy Layton as treasurer, so she begins her third term.
However, commissioners Rhonda Andrewson and Larry Donahoo traded positions. Andrewson is the new vice president and Donahoo replaces her as secretary. All votes were unanimous.
In other business, the commission unanimously accepted its 2014-15 audit report. Christopher Brown, partner in Fedak & Brown, discussed the report with the commission.
Overall, he complimented IFPD’s finances and pointed to the positive income results at the end of the year. Total revenues exceeded costs by nearly $215,000 during 2014-15, which is about $80,000 less than the prior year, according to Brown.
The negative blemish is the new Government Accounting Standards Board requirement (GASB 68) to include long-term pension liabilities in the balance sheets for governmental agencies. As of June 30, IFPD owed CalPERS nearly $2 million for the pensions of current employees and past retirees. As a result, its net position, or net worth, is a negative $1.7 million.
In prior years, this liability was not required to be part of the balance sheet and its incorporation can create a major change. At the end of 2013-14, IFPD’s net position was about $93,000.
Later in the meeting, Fire Chief Patrick Reitz offered his recommendations on the current financial and bookkeeping work for IFPD. He favors bringing more of the day-to-day financial work back to the department, while contracting out for oversight and the audits. The current financial assistance contract with Robert Dennis, a certified public accountant from Rancho Cucamonga, expires June 30, the end of the fiscal year.
Reitz is awaiting Dennis’ submission of ideas, which would outline the segregation of duties between Reitz’s administrative assistant and Dennis for the financial bookkeeping work. However, he recommended extending the contract with Dennis for two more years and Layton supported this action.
He also said conversations with Brown will lead to improvements in the relationship with the auditors and that contract should remain at least through its expiration on June 30, 2017.
“I’m actually comfortable with one more year left on the contract with Fedak & Brown,” Reitz said. “But let’s go through the audit process one more time before offering an extension.”