Secret Public Meeting Being
Held In Newberry Springs

Despite being scheduled for nearly two weeks, no
community notices have been distributed until this.

Posted: October 27, 2016

Free Assistance Is Coming

    This Saturday, October 29th, a group of 6 fourth-year graduate students from Cal Poly Pomona's Department of Regional and Urban Planning will be meeting at the Newberry Springs' Community Services District (CSD) building to listen to what residents want Newberry to become.

    The students and their instructor will be at the CSD building for a workshop presentation with residents between 10 A.M. to Noon.  Residents who can not attend at 10 A.M. are welcome to drop-in anytime during the informal meeting.

    The regional and urban planning students will be preparing an economic development Community Plan that will probably highlight development along Route 66.  The plan will be later presented to the county.  For the fourth year students, this will be their graduating capstone project of their Cal Poly education.  The students wish to meet with as many Newberry Springs residents as possible to understand the needs and the desires of the community.


    The seeds for this action was originally suggested by local Newberry Realtor Fred Stearn to Holly Shiralipour with the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture.  Shiralipour was a central figure in last year's development of the Mojave Water Agency's Baja water plan that was presented to Riverside County Superior Court Judge Gloria Trask for the court managed water Stipulation Agreement and the Silver Valley water ramp down.

    The movement to bring in Cal Poly students to do a community plan was previously disrupted by attempts to acquire the Promise Zone earlier this year and by the scheduling of classes at Cal Poly.

    Lorrie Steely, who earlier was the Newberry Spring's Economic Development Association's (NSEDA) Project Manager for the failed Promise Zone grant application, and who works closely with Shiralipour on some projects, took over some coordinating for the Cal Poly group.  The Cal Poly class that totals about two dozen students, are also working with the communities of Lucerne Valley, Apple Valley, and the Chemehuevi Indian Tribe.


    Steely has been coordinating the Cal Poly's public meeting in Newberry with Paul Deel, president of NSEDA.  While the public meeting has been mentioned at some of the internal NSEDA meetings, and has been scheduled for a few weeks, at the time of this article's posting, no flyers, mailings, mass e-mailing, or other widespread announcements are known to have been made by NSEDA to alert Newberry residents of the public meeting.

    The last time that a community plan was attempted, Paula Deel handled the coordination of the plan for the CSD.  At the time, she formed a committee of about five associates who developed a plan of special interests that failed to openly solicit the input of the community.  In the final days, the committee added a couple additional members.  As the unprofessionally prepared plan missed some key elements, the plan was never taken seriously.

    Appearances are now that NSEDA wants to control the information that Cal Poly hears to develop Newberry's plan.

Follow the Money

    One of the special interests supported in Deel's previous plan included changes to some zoning that would have benefited the billboard industry.  It is interesting to note that the current legal formation of NSEDA is now being quietly funded by $1,500 in contributed billboard industry money that has been funneled through the Newberry Springs Chamber of Commerce.

    The quickest way that Newberry has to economic development is through the development of Route 66 tourism and Newberry's scenic desert landscape.  The Chamber's endorsement of billboards attacks the economic development of tourism that the Chamber should be supporting.

Help the Cal Poly students help Newberry

    The students with their instructors are bringing professional expertise to a new plan.  While the plan won't be an entire Community Plan, it will be an important element to one.  Unfortunately, it can be argued that Newberrians who had agendas in the previous community plan are now trying to promote their agendas again by quietly keeping the residents from being informed and participating in the Cal Poly public meeting.

    With the release of this posting, NSEDA may rush to publicize the Cal Poly meeting to save face; so expect flyers Friday.  Regardless, residents are encouraged to spread the word and to stop by the Newberry CSD building to meet and thank the students; and if interested, voice their desires for the community.  The students are coming to Newberry to hear from you.

This Saturday, October 29th • CSD Building • 10 A.M. to Noon

Click on the above poster for enlargement.
Note: There will be no Potluck.

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