Meandering
Thoughts

Newberry CSD
Imploding and the board doesn't realize it.

Posted: July 26, 2020
Newberry Springs Community Alliance
by Ted Stimpfel

    The Newberry CSD is scheduled to have its regular monthly board meeting this coming Tuesday, July 28th, at 6 P.M.  This will once again be a ZOOM meeting.

    With ZOOM meetings, the host (the CSD's General Manager) only has to click a button on her computer screen to record the meeting.  Most governmental boards do record their meetings and many will post their meetings on their website for the public's ability to later view what transpired.

    The Newberry CSD's dark state has yet to publish any of its meetings, maintaining as little record and as little transparency of its proceedings as possible.

    The upcoming CSD agenda has some interesting items (click here for support documents; here for attorney fees).  I have selected a few agenda items:

    Item 4(c)  This addresses the water need for the Fire Department.  Amazingly, this matter is still hanging around like a Flordia ballot chad.  It should have been resolved last year.

    Item 4(d)  This is a positive step forward to acquire grant funds for the district.  This is an attempt to copy the Helendale success that the Newberry CSD is a decade behind.  At least this is a step in the right direction and should be supported.

    Item 4(e)  The CSD is looking to start attaching a service fee to Fire Department responses.  How the fees will be configured is at the discretion of the board.  We recommend that fees be waived for Newberry Springs residents and property owners who are already supporting the Fire Department through taxes.

    Fire Department responses to non-residents are often the result of traffic accidents whereby emergency fees are often covered by insurance companies.

    Item 4(g)  Discussion of the installation of the 'Air Quality Monitoring Process.'  This is a sham.  Supposedly part of the mitigation process to protect Newberry's residents from the silica dust disturbance caused by the Daggett solar project.  The two proposed monitors will be wholly inadequate for the size of the project.

    The Daggett Solar Power Project is a massive undertaking that is being placed within a Sand Transport Path that has multiple blowing Sand Rivers that shift locations in different wind events.

    The two proposed monitors are insufficient to properly monitor the shifting silica dust blow patterns over such a large area.  The sales pitch that the two monitors will safely serve the monitoring needs of Newberry Springs is sadly naive and demonstrates the CSD's ignorance of the scope of the situation.

    At least two years of wind studies should have been done as part of the EIR.  The CSD's acceptance of the two inadequate monitors is to mitigate future litigation against the project and that the developer has acted in good faith.  The CSD ignorance is foolishly further damaging the citizens of Newberry Springs.

    Further naive is the idea that the two proposed monitors will in any way protect Newberry Springs citizens as there is no realistic timely enforcement behind the data.  In short, the monitors will likely be placed in inappropriate locations and will only stand as a monument to feel-good stupidity.

    This is akin to children being taught in the 1950s to duck-and-cover  during a nuclear attack.  The reality was that ducking and covering would not prevent the children from being vaporized.

    Item 4(h)  This is yet another Closed Session away from public scrutiny on the simple matter of whether the CSD should accept the donation of property in Newberry Springs.  Is the property something that the community truly wants ?  At this time, the public isn't being informed of what the matter involves.

    This reminds me of the property east of the CSD building that the current CSD board was interested in earlier purchasing.  When the identity of the property became public knowledge, the public informed the board of the history of toxic contamination on the site that the community might be later forced to clean-up.

    As the current board members have lost credibility in the eyes of most Newberrians, the board's continued concealment of its activities only furthers the endangerment and discontent of the community.

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