Meandering
Thoughts




  Posted: November 12, 2021
Newberry Springs Community Alliance
Over 10 years of sharing the Love.
by Ted Stimpfel

The Wacky Newberry CSD Is Still Clowning.

    I have been attending the Newberry CSD meetings regularly for the past dozen years.  They all have something in common... they are boring as hell.  Sooo boring and sleep-inducing that residents reasonably don't attend them.

    What makes them so boring is the incompetence of the Board to properly function.  This incompetence is centered on the General Manager and the Board not understanding how to properly prepare Board meetings.

    A typical example of the carny show was director Jack Unger's proposal, at the last October meeting, that the General Manager should be given a pay raise.  This was at a meeting that started 30-minutes late because the General Manager didn't have an amplifier ready and while everyone waited, Director Paula Deel ran out for a part.  Deel returned but the part didn't work, so the following meeting was hard for the small public audience to hear.

    Due to COVID-19, this was the first indoor CSD Board meeting in many months.  The General Manager had months to prepare for it.

    The proposed pay raise is for a General Manager that hasn't been posting public notices of recent meetings.  And who prepares agendas and Minutes with so few skimpy words that the documents cannot be properly understood as a Public Record of the proceedings.  These are a dereliction of duty.

    This proposed pay raise is for a General Manager who, after the abrupt late cancellation of the September board meeting, failed to alert and notify the regular attendees.  This included a Sheriff's Department Captain who arrived on time and who had to call and alert an incoming Lieutenant who was also driving to the meeting.

    This type of job deficiency doesn't foster respect and goodwill with our community or the Sheriff's Department.

Micromanagement.

    The General Manager was hired to run the CSD, but she hasn't been properly doing that.  She is a glorified office clerk, secretary, and information complier for the CSD Board that micromanages her job.

    Our current General Manager isn't alone.  For years the CSD's General Managers have been surrendering their decisions to the overbearing Board Lords.

    The monthly agendas usually have a number of items for the Board to approve, like the salary increase proposed last month for the General Manager. 

    Being proposed by director Jack Unger (shown right), he completely failed to provide any supporting data for his idea.

    Unger should have had the General Manager package and defined his proposal so that the Board had something immediate to vote on.  There was no data on the hours worked nor a record of how the other CSDs are compensating their General Managers.

    As Unger and the General Manager didn't provide anything, the Board went into another long, boring, unimaginative discussion, poorly controlled by the Chairman, that tediously dragged on and on.  The chatty Board members were each throwing out their endless comments in trying to decide how to appropriately address the unorganized proposal.

    These clueless clowns are not funny nor acting professionally.  These silly, time consuming acts are repeated over and over on different agenda items.  For each agenda item, the General Manager should have a well-prepared and fully documented proposal for the Board to vote on.

    The Board always has the option to tweak proposals but it shouldn't be doing the General Manager's job from scratch.  Monthly Board meetings shouldn't be agenda item workshops!

The Chairman's failure.

    The Chair should have such unprepared agenda items tabled and returned to the General Manager for proper preparation.

    For decades, Newberry has had CSD Boards that have micromanaged the duties of the General Manager.  That is not the Board's purpose.

    The Board should not be in the business of packaging proposals.  That is the job of staff which should be presenting the Board with well-defined proposals for the Board to vote yes or no on.

The General Manager needs training.

    Yes, the current General Manager is still in proverbial job diapers.  She needs training.  She needs professional help.  Training that the CSD should be providing but the Board doesn't know better.

    On a personal and friendly level, I very much liked the former General Manager, Le Hayes.  Unfortunately, when it came to working, he was a job slacker.  He came out of retirement and greatly assisted the CSD in a time of need, but then he stayed too long.

    Hayes was a poor example for our current General Manager to be trained under.  She later acquired his position by default.  When the job became available, no one else applied for the job as no one wanted to work for the Newberry CSD.

    While it is obvious that our CSD's General Manager still hasn't grasped a full understanding of her responsibilities, she does seem to be learning and doing better.  I have been impressed that she has recognized what the Helendale CSD has done and that she has also applied for recreational grant funds.

Pay raise?

    As to whether she should get a raise, I hate to see poor performance rewarded.  But, my vote would be a definite yes.  We need to compensate her justly for the number of hours (which is considerable) that she performs for the CSD unpaid.  She has a dedication to the community.

    With the pay raise, I would require additional training (with pay).  We need operational changes in the CSD.  The loose Le Hayes methodology is still too prevalent.

    As for the Board members, a few do put in hours themselves, I have always felt that our elected directors should NOT receive stipends.  If they don't wish to freely serve their community without a paycheck, then they shouldn't be on the Board.

    The stipends should be removed as they only attract incompetence and some who need the supplemental income.  Failures with egos who want to run your local government.

    Director Jack Unger has previously stated that he believes that the Newberry's constituents want to have their CSD directors well compensated (with CSD funds).  I believe that Unger is from a different planet.

    Both the Board and the General Manager need training, IMHO, as to their roles, responsibilities, and duties.

Rescheduled Board meeting.

    Although it has not been publicized for the last couple of weeks since the change, the November CSD Board meeting is next Tuesday, November 16, 2021.  Not the normal 4th Tuesday of the month.  No meeting is planned for December.  More lack of CSD transparency.

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