Posted:  August 16, 2013

Quickie Editorial Blog on Newberry CSD's 2013 Board Candidates

      The ballots are now being returned for the three Newberry CSD seats available in the August 27th mail-in election.  The four candidates include Robert Shaw, Robert Springer, Robert Vasseur, and incumbent Diana Williams.

      Each candidate has something to offer Newberry Springs; but also some baggage.  No matter what one may think about a candidate, it is important to remember that even a broken-down, nonfunctioning cuckoo clock can still give you the correct time twice a day.

In alphabetical order.

      Robert Shaw should be a popular favorite with the seniors for the work he and his wife have done for the Senior Center (now the Service Center); but then on the Center's behalf, last November he threatened to sue the CSD over CSD funds that Shaw erroneously believed that the Senior Center was entitled to.  Contrary, the Center should be repaying the funds that were earlier improperly directed to it in violation of the law.  Shaw appears to be running for a CSD board seat while not demonstrating an understanding of the law that governs Community Service District operations.

      A passion of Robert Springer is his work with the Newberry Springs Volunteer Fire Department.  If elected as expected, the board will again have a director on the board with a potential personal conflict-of-interest on fire department matters.  Director Calvin Owens repeatedly voted on self-serving fire department matters.  Springer appears to be well liked and a strong candidate with years of service to the community.  Whether it is good to have CSD district employee on the board is a question for the voters.

      Robert Vasseur, a vocal crusader, is back once again looking to serve another term as a director.  If elected, we know that his interesting antics will keep us busy writing.  Directors are supposed to represent the entire community at large and Vasseur has clearly demonstrated that he pushes his own agenda and that he does not tolerate opposing viewpoints.  Frail stability was illustrated last March when "quirky" Vasseur went ballistic prior to the monthly CSD meeting.  Such nutty behavior prompted Vasseur receiving a prominent mention in a Blotter's blog.  It is disappointing that when evidence of fraud and misappropriation of CSD funds by a local fireman were presented with strong evidence earlier this year, that Vasseur defended and excused the sneaky taking of public funds.  Even after the CSD board voted for the perpetrator to repay the money, Vasseur was so out-of-step to claim that an injustice had been done to the person.  Vasseur is now asking us to trust his judgment and elect him as a custodian of our CSD's public funds.

      Diana Williams, the only incumbent running for reelection, is an interesting candidate.  She repeatedly demonstrated under the earlier Seeley regime to be too thin-skinned for the political board infighting; occasionally walking out of CSD meetings during heated political exchanges.  Despite sometimes taking-up time and being arguably over focused on relatively irrelevant minor points, and being a micromanager, she has clearly been a valuable board asset and one of the most knowledgeable and fiscally responsible.

•       •       •       •      

      The CSD's Comedy Central cast of board candidates are not showing any promise of invigorating the CSD; but there is always hope that with prayer, God will intervene.  Divine intervention appears to be the board's only salvation.

      The past Newberry CSD boards have been wammied by a number of egocentric members struting their testosterone and delusions of Utopia, without having a mature ability to compromise to get there.

      The curse upon Newberry Springs is that the best that it can muster upon its CSD boards are individuals who are not professional enough to work collectively with each other.  Rather, they let their own personal and emotional conflicts create walls of gamesmanship between themselves.  Newberry Springs has never benefited from such a divided house.

      Sadly, there doesn't appear to be much entrepreneurial spirit nor vision in any of the 2013 crop of candidates.

      For decades, Newberry Springs has demonstrated that it cannot beneficially govern itself.  Operating a simple CSD to improve the community's living standard is outside of its league.

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