By Stephanie Yost
Idyllwild Community Center President

Riverside County Third District Supervisor Chuck Washington and Fourth District Supervisor V. Manuel Perez, as well as several members of their respective staffs, paid a visit to the Hill Tuesday, July 19.

Participants during Riverside County 4th District Supervisor V. Manuel Perez’s first official visit to Idyllwild, from left, were Perez’s Board Assistant Amy Cuen, his Chief of Staff Steven A. Hernandez, his Communications Director Darin Schemmer, Terry Shirley, Perez, 3rd District Supervisor Chuck Washington, Stephanie Yost and Washington’s Chief of Staff Joe Pradetto.

The purpose was for Washington to introduce Perez to the Idyllwild area in preparation for the communities’ switch from inclusion in the 3rd District to the 4th District. The change, a result of Riverside County district boundaries being redrawn based on 2021 census population count and other factors set by the state and federal law, goes into effect January 2023.

The supervisors’ visit lasted from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The morning stops, led by Idyllwild Community Center (ICC) President Stephanie Yost and Secretary Terry Shirley, started at Idy Park, included a quick tour of downtown Idyllwild with a focus on the Historic Preservation District (HPD) a visit to Idyllwild Regional Park, a drive up through Fern Valley to Humber Park, a brief stop at ICC’s skatepark, dog park and pickleball courts (located at Idyllwild Pines), a visit to the Idyllwild Community Playground and the Butterfield Amphitheater, and a tour of historic Town Hall.

Antone “Tony” Pierucci, bureau chief of Planning, Development and Interpretation for Riverside County Regional Park and Open-Space District, provided information for the tour stops through HPD and Idyllwild Regional Park, with the help of Shirley, who also is the HPD chair, and Idyllwild Regional Park Ranger Supervisor Anthony Miller.

As the morning progressed, Yost and Shirley gave a general overview of Hill communities as well as various local concerns, such as short-term rentals, snow play traffic and trash problems, complaints about airplane flyovers, recent community growth during the pandemic, and the benefits and challenges of off-Hill visitors and tourism.

Yost and Shirley also provided information about ICC’s events and programs (such as the Tree Lighting Festival, Halloween Carnival, Easter Egg Hunt and Summer Concert Series, ICC’s low-cost child care programs, Feeding America food distributions, the Sunday Farmers Market, and youth and adult recreation opportunities), as well as about many of the services and programs other local organizations provide, including Idyllwild Rotary, Idyllwild Soroptimists, Mountain Communities Mutual Aid, Art Alliance of Idyllwild, Mountain Disaster Preparedness and Mountain Community Patrol.

Following a quick lunch at Idyllwild Brewpub, the supervisors and their staffs spent the remainder of their time visiting with Chief Mark LaMont at the Idyllwild Fire Station and the Mountain Communities Fire Safe Council staff.

Washington and Perez said the visit was just the beginning to their offices’ mutual participation in the transition of the Hill communities from the 3rd District to the 4th District, and they expressed enthusiasm for returning to the Hill very soon for the soon-to-be-announced ground-breaking of ICC’s new Community Center building next to Idyllwild Community Playground in or around late August of this year.