From left to right: Acting General Manager Mitch Freeman and directors Steve Kunkle, Dr. Charles Schelly, Peter Szabadi and Les Gin with Chief Financial Officer Hosny Shouman.   
Photo by Melissa Diaz Hernandez

The Idyllwild Water District (IWD) is looking for another general manager. When Acting General Manager Mitch Freeman stepped into the position after the sudden resignation of former General Manager Darren Milner Nov. 17, 2019, who left after only a month on the job, IWD Board President Dr. Charles Schelly wrote in an email to the Town Crier “Mitch Freeman has accepted the position of acting general manager. He was appointed by the board in open session following the special closed session meeting last Wednesday [Nov. 27] evening. 

“His salary was increased $1,000 a month and he will be considered for the permanent position if he is interested. He was given authority to start acting in the general manager capacity immediately following the board vote on Wednesday evening, Nov. 27.”

The newspaper contacted Freeman confirming that he was not seeking the position of general manager.

“It was my request that the district step up its search for a general manager,” Freeman said. “I feel more comfortable in my old job [field supervisor]. I don’t have that level of administrative experience. There is a special skill set that general managers require. I do not want to bring any liability to the district.” 

IWD has a revolving door of general managers. The newspaper reached out to Milner twice on why he left the district and has yet to receive a response. 

Milner was hired as general manager after former General Manager Michael Creighton’s contract was terminated by the district Sept. 25, 2019 during a special closed-session meeting. Milner began working for the district less than a month later on Oct. 21.