It has been my privilege to serve on several boards on the Hill. During the 20-plus years of living here, I have enjoyed involvement with Idyllwild School, Idyllwild School Site Council, Idyllwild Community Fund, Idyllwild Fire, AYSO soccer, Hemet youth baseball, Town Hall sports, Boy Scouts, Idyllwild Race Committee, church and, most recently, the Idyllwild Water District.

IWD has proven to be the most engaging pertaining to open debate and discussion. There are varied opinions and backgrounds that produce rich and vibrant deliberations on the effects of the decisions that must be made.

The board follows the philosophy that the Brown Act is a floor, not a ceiling, and that in a democracy, efficacy is sacrificed to transparency.

We also have community members who express themselves at your public IWD meetings. We not only listen but seek to understand their concerns and have modified some decisions based on their input. Because of those important components; debate and public input, some of our meetings have gone on for hours. There are far too many short meetings where decisions are made behind closed doors and public input is met with stone-faced silence, then followed up by ignoring it.

It is truly inspiring (and sometimes tiring) to see democracy at work in our little town.

Over the last year there has been a flurry of changes for a variety of reasons. Ongoing circumstances will necessitate further changes.

I will continue to encourage an environment of improved transparency and effective use of your funds. There is still a long way to go and the ultimate goal of a district that perfectly serves the exact needs of our community may not be soon realized but that is the direction the Idyllwild Water District is headed.

Dr. Charles Schelly

President, Idyllwild Water District