Robert Springer, Newberry CSD president and chairman, at the board's January general meeting.
Posted: February 2, 2014
CSD board takes positive steps.
Newberry CSD Board Makes Changes
In Its Operations
A new spirit of cooperation between the Newberry CSD board members
appeared to radiate at the CSD's monthly general board meeting held January 28, 2014.
The comraderie centered upon the board's support of the newly
appointed CSD General Manager, Le Hayes, who brings 22 years of prior CSD experience to
the Newberry CSD.
During the last couple of years, this blog publication has been
writing about the CSD's mismanagement, violations of proper procedures, and repeated
violations of state law. All of which has fallen upon the deaf ears of obstinate
boards. Despite a Grand Jury whacking last year, the CSD continued upon its
The poorly trained and uneducated to-the-law past boards have
fallen in line behind one another in a successive and perpetuating line of mismanagement.
Finally, with the appointment of the new General Manager, the chronic cycle may have been
broken. The rotating line of Bozo acts may be over.
At the January meeting, the board appeared adoptive of Le Hayes'
suggestion that the board scrap the board's entire Bylaws, that Hayes says are inconsistent
with state law. The Bylaws were brought into question over the legality of the board's
hiring practices that included some agenda items that the board decided to table.
The current board appointment of Kathy Ridler as Secretary to the
Board was left in serious limbo as a possible violation of state law.
Hayes, who has previously served as the general manager of Baker's
CSD, has come out of retirement to assist the Newberry CSD to retool itself as a properly
functioning CSD entity. In order to accomplish this, Hayes has accepted the Newberry
position with the understanding that the board would accept the corrective measures that he
would institute. Without the board's support, he isn't expected to waste his time and
would likely be quick to terminate his services.
Special training sought.
Bob Smith of Yermo spoke at the meeting. Smith sits as a
commissioner on the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO). He has been advising
the LAFCO board to fund training in San Bernardino county for special district directors.
There are nearly five dozen special districts in the county,
ranging from CSDs, to water, cemeteries, health care, fire, recreation, mosquito, airports,
Excellent training is available in northern California for directors
to learn the proper procedures to perform their role; but the training is unaffordable for
CSDs like Newberry to send their directors to. So Smith is pushing LAFCO to pay for
the training to come down to San Bernardino county whereby multiple districts can send their
Over $18,000 in legal fees due.
Payment of the growing odyssey in legal fees, that now total over
$18-thousand for representation on the fire truck fiasco, were put on temporary hold after
Director Robert Shaw requested an itemized review of the legal billing.
CSD office is illegal.
The CSD office will likely be moved from the current structure that
sits upon the property line of two CSD parcels. The modular unit is not ADA compliant.
The utilization of the Community Center's fire engine bay is considered one possibility for
office space. One suggestion made at the meeting, that seemed to hold popular support,
would be to partition a section of the northern portion of the CSD Community Center's main
room for office space.
Injury claimed on CSD property.
Butch and Debbie Farrington both spoke during the meeting's
public comment period regarding an alleged fall that Debbie had while leaving the CSD office
on the evening of January 21, 2014. The fall was claimed to be substantial enough that
it required Debbie to make two trips to a medical emergency office in Barstow. During
the fall, it is also alleged that Debbie's cellular phone was broken.
Yet another Brown Act violation.
The board meeting was again not properly noticed due to a technical
file format glitch in posting to the Internet and the continued illegal removal of the notice
from the Post Office bulletin board. The board cannot legally conduct business unless the
state requirements of notice is met. Last May a CSD agenda was framed in glass and screwed
to the postal bulletin board. It is still there at the posting of this blog over 7-months
later, proving that with a little effort, proper notice can be maintained.
It was Le Hayes' first week at the Newberry CSD.
At the tail end of the meeting the board went in to closed session
over a legal matter and later returned without a determination.
On January 1, 2014, the Blotter posted a long article about the 3-minute
public meeting talk rule that the early San Bernardino county corruption had instituted and
that spread to the Newberry CSD and other governmental entities extensively.
The article informed that a 3-minute period was chosen because
it "was a phrase concerning the amount of time one should leave eggs in boiling water.
In a metaphorical sense, it still is in the minds of our elected officials who continue to
enforce it. Three minutes in their mind is enough for their constituents to "stew"
The people have a First Amendment constitutional right to petition
the CSD board for a redress of grievances. The board does not have a right to limit
the reasonable time necessary for the public to adequately address the board.
So it was particularly insulting for the public to see the CSD president
and chairman, Robert Springer, using a 3-minute egg timer to time the public speakers.
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