For six months the Newberry CSD board members have refused to
release Kiewit Pacific funds for Newberry Springs' defense against the intrusion
of utility-scale solar.
For six months, board members Robert Springer,
Paula Deel, Victoria Paulson, and Larry Clark have acted
with indifference to calls from the community to release the funds.
Newberry Springs is currently facing a major crisis. Should
the solar developments be built, the vast majority of the citizens and the landowners
of the community will lose big time in their property investments and their
personal health. An expected major health problem will be an increase in
PM 10 dust which is recognized as a leading cause of pulmonary death.
Reckless withholding of funds.
The Newberry CSD has been withholding defense funds that the community
wants to have used for their protection. This is money that does not belong
to the CSD, it belongs to the People of Newberry Springs.
Currently, there is a chance that the solar projects will not
be built. However, if the projects are built, and if the Kiewit Pacific community
funds were not released prudently in time for the community's defense, the individual
Newberry CSD board members may have their own property at risk.
Poetically, in their willingness to risk other people's property
by not releasing the funds, the Board members may lose their own. Community
lawsuits for the recovery of damages may become epidemic and the CSD board's
current names may be listed as defendants.
A layman's view.
Without the benefit of expert legal opinion, and from a common
sense perspective of the law, it would strongly appear (from a legal layman's
perspective) that the Kiewit Pacific funds belong to the People of the community,
not the CSD nor its Board.
It further appears that the CSD has been holding the
funds in a fiduciary trust-type relationship for the dispensing of the funds for the
benefit of the community. Currently, no benefit seems higher than to use
the funds to preserve the health and safety of the community from utility-scale
Despite six months of community cries for the release of the
funds, the CSD has failed to do so. This is contrary to the intended purpose
of the funds. The funds were never meant to be squirreled away for decades.
If this breach of fiduciary duty directly contributes to the
nonprevention of the solar construction, massive community damages will occur.
This may lead to each Newberry CSD board culprit being held
personally responsible for breach of their fiduciary trustee responsibilities.
This may place each obstructive Board member at risk of losing all of their own personal
property that can be legally attached.
Board members stripped of protection.
There may be a wrongful impression that the Board is fully protected
by state law and the CSD's insurance, but that might not be. State law and
insurance only cover the Board members' action when acting in the capacity of the
The Board's action of trustee for the Kiewit Pacific funds
appears to be totally outside of the CSD's capacity. Acting as a separate
trustee in the distribution of private funds is not a power granted to the
Newberry CSD by LAFCO (Local Agency Formation Commission).
Acting as trustee of private funds appears to be outside
the scope of LAFCO, so there is probably no protection for the
Board members by state law nor from the CSD's insurance. The CSD Board members
may have to pony up their own assets for potential legal fees and awards.
One would expect that the CSD board members would want to
limit their personal liability exposure with the Kiewit Pacific funds, however,
as previously alluded to in previous blogs, there appears to be greed involved.
The People of Newberry Springs need the release of the funds
NOW! Not later, when the funds won't do any good in protecting the community.