Former general manager’s resignation letter
By Melissa Diaz Hernandez
Darren Milner resigned as the general manager of Idyllwild Water District (IWD) on Nov. 17, a Sunday, effective immediately. The newspaper obtained a copy of Milner’s resignation letter, which cites his reason for his resignation as “experiencing an unhealthy culture and difficult work environment at the district due to poor communication.” Milner also wrote the circumstances were beyond his control and needed to resign immediately.
“However, working for the IWD has been an experience that has afforded me many valuable opportunities to learn and grow,” Milner wrote in his resignation letter. “I am very grateful and honored to serve with the IWD staff, board of directors and serve the Idyllwild community as the district’s general manager.”
The district’s Field Supervisor Mitch Freeman, hired Oct. 16, the same day as Milner, was appointed by the board as the district’s acting general manager at a Nov. 27 special meeting of the district’s board members.
Freeman is being paid an additional $1,000 per month, according to Board President Dr. Charles Schelly in an email to the newspaper, as he fills the role of acting general manager. His annual salary as field supervisor, according to his employment agreement, is $97,488 or $8,124 per month. This additional $1,000 now puts his monthly salary at $9,124 per month.
Milner signed an employment agreement with an annual salary of $102,212 or $8,517 per month.
Milner was hired Oct. 16 after the district fired his predecessor, Michael Creighton, on Sept. 25 in another special meeting. Creighton had undergone multiple employee evaluations prior to his termination.
The district has gone through multiple general managers, including acting general managers, in the last couple of years.