The recent storms and road closures highlight a value that is often overlooked: local employees. People who live here know how to get around when there is snow or ice. Locals know when to have reserves of gas, food and supplies on hand. They have all-wheel drive vehicles or they know how to put chains on.
Employees who live here in our town can get to work when highways off the Hill are compromised and it rains 8 inches in one day or the roads are flooded with tourists. There is value in that.
They can respond in an emergency, day or night, whether (weather) it was forecast or unanticipated.
At Idyllwild Water District there is a proposal to recognize that value with a stipend for our employees who live on the Hill. The intent is to foster longevity of employees and benefit the community’s needs. It encourages local employees to stay here, current employees and new hires to move here.
I believe that once someone lives in Idyllwild they realize the fantastic benefits and challenges of this wonderful and beautifully unique small town; a community where people know each other by name and help each other.
Local self-reliance and job multiplier studies show that hometown employees strengthen the economies in which they reside.
Without increasing rates, the stipend would help to offset the cost of living on the Hill and make IWD more attractive to potential employees. More people with stable employment strengthens the whole community.
IWD will continue to provide great mountain water and recruit employees to benefit everyone on the Hill in accordance with our mission. The IWD mission is to provide reliable water and sewer service in a safe, cost-effective and environmentally sound manner in accordance with the community needs.
Dr. Charles Schelly
Idyllwild Water District president