We elect an IFPD Board to “Serve and Advise” the community of Idyllwild. The chief serves at the pleasure of the board (and therefore the community of Idyllwild). The chief of IFPD is not POTUS, in other words he does NOT have “a pen and a phone.” The secret talks between a shuttered San Jacinto fire station chief and the chief of IFPD are illegal under the Brown Act (Government Code §54950 to 54962 ).
The husband of our former county councilwoman has a right to be amused at our apparent apathy. We the voters of Idyllwild have a right to open IFPD Board meetings, to openly discuss the costs and effects (Government Code §7900, et seq.) on the Idyllwild community, and to have input regarding adding a shuttered San Jacinto fire station to our special fire protection district.
This merger might be a “big thing” to the chief of IFPD, who apparently has a vision of being the chief of San Jacinto, but this is NOT in the interest of Idyllwild (Revenue and Taxation Code §95). There is a legal process outlined by the State of California for special fire protection districts (as outlined in Health and Safety Code §13800, et seq. and Government Code §50078, et seq. and Fire Protection District Law of 1987, streamlined by SB 515 from 1987).
Really, are we going to let the chief of IFPD shove higher tax assessments and an expanded special district (Civil Code §13812 The Cortese-Knox Local Government Reorganization Act of 1985 (Division 3 (commencing with section 56000 of Title 5 of the Government Code) shall govern any change of organization or reorganization of a district) down our throats without due process or a vote as required by California Civil Code §13885? Except as otherwise provided in this part, districts are subject to the Uniform District Election Law, Part 4 (commencing with Section 10500 of Division 10 of the Elections Code).
Why is there no public outcry? Why has there been no public input regarding this San Jacinto merger? Seriously, this is a violation of our civil rights as property owners residing in a special district and our right to vote.
Danny and Colleen McDonald
Editor’s note: The Brown Act does not prohibit a fire chief from one district from holding talks with a fire chief or city manager from another district or city, nor does it require their talks to be open to the public. The Town Crier neither endorses nor comments upon the other legal claims and legal authority cited in the above letter.