Posted: March 29, 2019
Newberry's danger is from within.
The Newberry CSD's March board meeting was a colossal
disappointment for the Newberry community. Residents trying to
protect Newberry Springs from the long-term damages of the proposed 3,500-acre
Daggett Solar Power 1 project were again met by the CSD board's
After months of failure to mount a defense for the community,
the CSD board's time-to-act ran out. For those who live in Newberry Springs,
the board's screw-up has now placed the residents' physical health and home
investments at great risk.
At least we have known that director Larry Clark wants Newberry's
solar opposition to fail. He has been honest in his sentiments that Newberry should
suffer the consequences of solar development (allegedly so that his personal business
Shown is an example illustration of NRG's
network connections. The NRG Daggett 3,500-acre proposed solar project
has already been flipped to Clearway Energy. Diagram shows plans for an
additional Daggett Solar Power 2 and Daggett Solar Power 3.
The county on March 15, 2019, released a mammoth Draft Environmental
Impact Report consisting of thousands of pages that opponents need to respond to within
45-days. 34-days from the board's last meeting.
For over 15-months, Ted Stimpfel of Newberry Springs has been requesting the
Newberry CSD board to release a portion of the remaining Kiewit Pacific funds that have
been fiduciarily entrusted to the board for the community's benefit. There has
never been a better application for the fund's use then to now protect the health of
citizens, the community's value, and future.
Board's arrogant attitude.
Insulting and incomprehensible were the comments by the board members at the
March meeting as they demonstrated a callous disregard and ignorance of the problem.
Director Paula Deel suggested that the matter should be tabled until the next board meeting on
April 23, 2019, to allow more time to consider it. That would then allow an impossible
6-days to respond by the deadline.
It is shocking that this director, and others, who are representing
Newberry Springs don't understand that a proper Draft EIR response takes months to prepare.
Newberry's response should have been underway long before the Draft EIR was
issued. One doesn't wait for 6-days before the deadline to decide whether to do
something. This just demonstrates how unqualified and inept Deel and the
other Newberry CSD board members are in representing Newberry.
Pictured is Bob Berkman of CEQA-Now displaying to the CSD board only
a fraction of the county released Draft EIR. It can not be addressed in
CSD President Robert Springer also commented that the Newberry CSD must consider
not ruffling the feathers of the Daggett CSD which is in support of the massive solar
project. So, the question is, does Springer know who he is representing?
Is he looking out for the health and the well being of Newberry's residents or is he
worried about hurting the feelings of the Daggett CSD which obviously isn't concerned
about their Newberry neighbors?
The Kiewit Pacific fund.
Approximately 15 years ago, a handful of Newberry's citizens banded
together and sued Kiewit Pacific over a new county mining permit. Rather than face a
delay in mining operations, Kiewit Pacific settled the matter which included a cash
payout of $350,000 to the successful plaintiffs. The Newberry CSD was an attached
plaintiff by name only.
The winning citizens collectively wanted the funds to benefit the
community, but who among them was best suited to distribute the funds? The
plaintiffs did not want the money to be simply turned over to the CSD to be
dumped into the general treasury for the general operations that are restricted by
It was ultimately decided that the funds would be entrusted to the
CSD board members, but not to the CSD's general treasury. Instead,
the funds were specially earmarked as a special trust donation not to be comingled
nor used as part of the general operating budget, but to be dispensed at the board's
discretion for community special needs outside of LAFCO's jurisdiction.
The plaintiffs wanted the funds to help fulfill the special needs of the
community that are not addressable by LAFCO's public fund limitations.
The CSD board agreed and stepped-up to the trust management of the
funds. In order to acquire ideas from the community as to how the funds could
be spent, the CSD itself initiated a special community
that included 21 suggestions, many that are far beyond the CSD's LAFCO mandate.
This survey underscores the understanding of the diversity of how the funds could
be used outside of the CSD's normal LAFCO restrictions.
Despite much that has been said in the last 15-months in trying
to educate the Newberry CSD board, the dull-witted board still can not comprehend
that the Kiewit Pacific funds were entrusted to the board as specially earmarked funds,
and NOT given to the CSD's general treasury nor given as a reserve which would have
placed the funds under mandatory LAFCO criteria.
Unfortunately, the CSD board members haven't been able to get their
heads out-of-the-sand over a single Kiewit Pacific
that was written for tax purposes that accompanied the Kiewit Pacific check. What
importantly predated and authorized the issuance of the check to the CSD was a prior
agreement between the plaintiffs and the CSD that the money would be maintained and
handled separately from CSD functions.
Breach of fiduciary duty.
The law appears very clear that the CSD undertook the dispensing
of the funds under a fiduciary relationship. Violation of a fiduciary
relationship is subject to stiff punitive damages. The Newberry CSD has
severely breached its management duty of the funds. Tens of thousands of
dollars are now missing and unaccounted for. There has been exceptionally
poor accounting management of the trust funds.
Currently, only about $110,000 of the trust funds are reported as
remaining in a bank CD. In order to cover-up its accounting mess, the CSD
earlier reported that all of the money had been spent, not for special community
needs but embezzled and partly used as a slush fund for CSD assets.
In May 2012, Wayne Weierbach, in order to allegedly cover-up the CSD's missing
Kiewit Pacific funds, came out with an official
that the funds "...were always classified as a reserve fund and not as a separate
special account" and that "...the funds have been expended over the past years."
Well, in 2019, about $110,000 apparently still exists.
It would appear that Weirbach gathered a number of past CSD
purchases and claimed that the Kiewit Pacific funds were applied for their purchase
in order to fill the gap in missing funds, whether or not the CSD board ever authorized
the use of the Kiewit Pacific funds.
As the current CSD board feels that the remaining Kiewit Pacific
funds are the CSD's under LAFCO control, we have a comingling of funds and we need
the money not properly documented to have been spent to be now returned to the
plaintiffs. Any trust in the Newberry CSD's management ability has been
New Grand Jury investigation.
The illegal conversion of funds needs to be investigated by the Grand
Jury and perhaps by the Attorney General for criminal action. We need to know
what happened to the tens of thousands of missing dollars.
When the local CSD under President Robert Springer and Vice-President
Paula Deel continues the improper conversion of the Kiewit Pacific funds, the fact that
the CSD won't investigate the missing funds nor the fund's background, and the CSD
board (comprising of Robert Springer, Paula Deel, Victoria Paulsen,
Jack Unger, and Larry Clark) refuses to release the funds for their
intended purpose, then an outside oversight investigation is needed to address the
As Prez. Trump says, "Lock them up!"
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