Former general manager’s resignation letter

Former General Manager Darren Milner’s resignation letter. 
Document courtesy of Idyllwild Water District

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. 


  1. I have been reading this paper, and the comments therein, for not too long – about a year – and I find that I stand in awe of JTF and their avidity on all matters relating to IWD. Would that any of us could find such a drive within our lives, such energy, such zeal! With every single article posted, the content is immeasurably increased by this crusading citizen’s commentary.

    However I am disappointed that this Murrow-to-be has limited their activities to the commentary pages of this august publication! I detect a dedication to the cause that rises above, beyond, and outside of the sadly impassable limits presented by the Hill’s paper of record’s commentary section. This commitment to seeing the truth out must broaden its horizons, lest it be snuffed out by a lack of response from a public that cannot properly perceive the path to providence!

    I would advise the person or persons behind JTF to first, obtain a website on which the full details of the investigation can be listed, and second, to invest in some shoe leather and get into the investigation. The absolute best person to answer your questions, dear JTF, is you. It would be a life’s crowning moment to scoop not just the Crier, but the LA Times and the Press-Enterprise. Corruption investigations such as this are what earns Pulitzers for the diligent! I say to you, JTF, the answers are out there – go and find them!

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