The Senior Center Should Receive 
  NOT A Dime Of Community Funds 

Newberry Springs Senior Center
BIG 'Pie-in-the Sky' fantasies are being imagined by the Newberry Springs Senior Service Association's management.

Management has demonstrated a lack of competence.

Irresponsible management shouldn't be encouraged
and community assets further squandered.

•   Editorial   •
November 29, 2012


      Newberry Springs Senior Service Association and the Newberry Community Services District demonstrated complete incompetence during the November 2012 CSD general board meeting.

      At the October 2012 CSD board meeting, the seniors' association requested a third-time bail out using CSD controlled funds for their grossly insolvent senior center operations.  Two previous requests that were granted in past years have already blown through a reported $33,000 in CSD subsidies.  The amount requested on the October 2012 agenda represented another $30,000.

      The seniors' association, at the October CSD meeting, agreed to return to the November meeting with a proposed Business Plan.

November CSD General Meeting

      At the November meeting, the seniors' association presented a 9-page "Business Plan" (link size 3.3MB) (9 pages that included cover, index, 1-page introduction, and 6 pages of exhibits).  The contents of which cannot in any sense of the imagination be considered a legitimate business plan.  The submitted plan only demonstrated the continued lack of competence behind those individuals who are currently operating the association.

      A business plan should be a minimum of 25 to 35 pages and include basic financial spreadsheets, usually with minimum pro-forma projections of 3 years, if not 5 years.  The proposed seniors' Business Plan only included a partial single page of an unknown monthly budget without any footnotes or explanation of how the given numbers were derived.

      The seniors' Business Plan submission contains no detailed organizational plan, no description of proposed reorganized operations, no Marketing Plan with strategy of implementation, no assessment to measure marketing effectiveness, no important services-market analysis, no detailed statement of financial needs with an in depth description of the proposed uses of funds, no actual performance (historical) financial statements, no financial statement analysis, no planned cash flow, no profit and loss projections, no Balance Sheet data, no personal resumes of management's qualifications, et cetera!

      In short, the seniors' Business Plan illustrated that they don't know how to properly write a business plan much less run a business and qualify to be financially supported with community public funds.  The intentions may be excellent, and the dreams may be sincere; but the necessary skill and knowledge to succeed isn't demonstrated.

Business Plan Faulty

      The seniors' Business Plan lacks the basic elements necessary to properly understand their business; and it is so lacking that it can not be considered a legitimate business plan.  There is little wonder that the senior association is now financially insolvent with the organization totally clueless as to how to recover from their spiraling financial deficit.  If they're incapable of outlining a road map for recovery in a business plan; their chance of ever becoming solvent is microscopic.

      Much of the proposed plan includes highly questionable presumptions.  The community, and pie-in-the-sky anticipated angel grant philanthropists, are not likely to materialize and support the seniors' wild and unsubstantiated conclusions.  Since the recession, many of the philanthropic foundations have had their own incomes reduced and they are struggling to maintain their current commitments; many are not sponsoring new projects.  Although grant funds are still available, the competition for it is fierce.

      There isn't a single shred of evidence contained within the Business Plan that more community funding from the CSD would assist the highly comatose association to reverse its financial situation.  There comes a time to allow bad business policies and management to succumb to force a rebirth under a different management.

CSD board loved it!

      To be blunt, and a bit vulgar, the seniors' Business Plan only contains poorly processed pig slop.  It was served to a CSD board that was all too eager to quickly eat it up.  Remarkably, two of the board members commented how good it was and complimented the chef.  This only demonstrated how clueless the CSD board itself is as to what it was consuming.  It appeared obvious that none of the board members even knows what a proper business plan is.  (Note: Director Williams did not attend the meeting.)

      Shockingly, the CSD board did not question any of the specific elements contained within the plan.  Total incompetence!  Push some vague and fuzzy writings in front of the CSD board and they're too blank to question it.

      The senior's plan calls upon the CSD to enter into an agreement that entails the senior association to perform certain community services for $2,000 per month.  This amount is down from the CSD's October agenda item that listed a proposed $2,500 per month ($30,000 per year).  A flip-flop of $6,000 in one month (between the October and November CSD meetings) illustrates the questionable bizarreness of the claimed need.  Another pie-in-the-sky  number.

      Some of the new proposed services are supposed to generate more funds for sustainability.  But if they will raise funds, why hasn't the senior association been doing them anyway; and will they actually benefit the community commensurable to the thousands of dollars being given away?

      The Business Plan references no surveys to substantiate that the new proposed classes and events, offered by the senior association, will hold any community support; and whether the community would attend them if charged a modest fee.  The seniors' Business Plan's proposals may likely only accelerate the senior association's losses.

Newberry Springs Senior Center

Pushy Seniors

      Arrogantly, the seniors' plan requires that any CSD contract "must carry a minimum 90 day notice of intent to cancel"  the contract.  Should a beggar be dictating terms?  If the seniors' performance continues to fall short, the CSD should be able to immediately cut its losses.

      This senior association's request represents the third failure (third-strike) of the association to improve its operating procedures and the administrators have proven themselves incapable of proper budgetary management.  Prudent, logical and fiduciary business sense dictates that no more community funds should be wasted on them.

Transparency is badly needed.

      If the senior center is requesting government controlled bail out funds, it needs to open its financial books.  This they have refused to do.  Even refusing to make available basic records that are required by law to be open by a 501(c)(3) for public inspection during regular business hours at the principle place of business (the senior center).

      Questions have arisen as to what debt does the senior association hold?  It has been stated that the senior association's café owes money to local people for past restaurant food purchases.  Is there conflict of any of the debt owed to a member of the CSD board?

      To whom are the debts owed and in what amounts?  What amounts of CSD controlled funds will actually be paying off old mismanagement debt and basic operating overhead and not being spent on the actual costs for NEW services to the community?  If the seniors want public funds, their financial books need to be publicly opened!

      Without the transparency of open public books to know what amount of money the center actually needs, no public funds should be considered!  There is no way to judge what, if any, money is needed with proper management.


      Have the past funds from the CSD been spent as alleged?  The senior association has never provided any public accounting for the public funds it has already acquired.  Has any of the funds been embezzled or illegally converted?

      Why does the senior association refuse to open their 501(c)(3) financials in requesting the public funds?  This is not normal.  A business plan for funding should include past operational financial information for an understanding of historical performance.

      Without this basic knowledge on the handling of the earlier senior association contracts, the CSD board has totally failed in its fiduciary duty under the law to monitor the trust funds.  (Hello, is anyone connected with the county Grand Jury reading this?  This needs scrutiny!)

Let's open up the ballpark!

      As the proposed funds are coming from the governmental CSD, why not open the new proposed community services to public bid?  Why the discriminatory favoritism to the senior association?  We know of others who would love to line-up for the free unaccountable money!

The senior association isn't ready.

      Much of the seniors' Business Plan's success relies upon the senior association converting into a family/community service association.  As a 501(c)(3), to be eligible to acquire the sustaining pie-in-the-sky grant funds that are discussed in the Business Plan, the association must first acquire an approval from the Secretary of State for a name change and approval for a change in the non-profit service and mission.

      After an approval by the state's Secretary, the matter must then be submitted for approval by the Internal Revenue Service.  These changes, if approved, can take months to acquire and the senior association appears to be "pulling a fast one" to fleece the CSD by not disclosing this critical information in their Business Plan.  The senior association should come back later after it gets its paper work in order.

Flip-flopping names.

      Legally, who is the senior association.  Their operating permits name them as the Newberry Springs Senior Service Association, Inc.; but in their request for funds to the CSD, they call themselves the Newberry Springs Service Association.  To date they have not shown any legal recognization of a name change.  Is the CSD suppose to contract with an entity that officially doesn't exist?

Kiewit-Pacific funds

      What the seniors are targeting are the Kiewit-Pacific Community Trust funds.  This is money that the CSD is holding in trust for "road improvements and youth-directed recreational activities and facilities."  The funds have been largely mishandled in the past by the CSD to where little benefit has been acquired by the community's youth for the depletion of over $200,000 of the original trust amount.  Currently the balance of the funds are about $126,967.28.

      These funds have represented a real opportunity for long-term benefits to the community.  The funds could have been leveraged 2 or 3-times with matching grants.  Unfortunately, the funds have been squandered by the CSD in the past and more are being targeted.  One CSD board member now wants to literally blow some of the funds for more Newberry July 3rd fireworks!  Such limited vision!

      In an earlier 2005 community survey, the community voted that the money should be used for road improvements and youth recreational needs.

      Unfortunately, the Newberry CSD board is principally made up of aging citizens who are targeting funds to a depleting senior population.  Little consideration has been given to the growing youth population in the community.  Yet, the youth situation is far more dire when it comes to lacking CSD services.


      The youth of Newberry Springs deserve better!  The CSD holds a direct mandate under LAFCO to provide recreational opportunities and facilities to the community's youth.  The governmental CSD does not hold an obligation to continue to financially bail out an insolvent, PRIVATE, non-profit association.

      The remaining 1/3 of the Kiewit-Pacific funds, in its entirety (grader funds included), should be utilized with leveraged matching grants to build a recreation facility that everyone in the community could benefit from.

      As for the senior center, temporary emergency funds should be available from the county for the center's need; whereby, the dwindling Kiewit-Pacific funds would not be impacted.

      If only the senior association would bother to try the county rather than fall back upon the past cozy CSD relationship; and if only the CSD board would act responsibly and say no to force another remedy for the benefit of the entire community.