Supervisors Wage Devastation
Upon Newberry Springs

Posted: January 10, 2020
Newberry Springs Community Alliance
by Ted Stimpfel

Dissecting a county Board Supervisor.

    When the Newberry CSD's appeal of the county's approval of the Daggett Solar Power project went before the Board of Supervisors, I was shocked at the cruel distortion of what I heard coming from the 1-year appointed 3rd District supervisor, Dawn Rowe.

    She voted with the other Supervisors for a 5-0 rejection of the CSD's appeal.  Rowe's vote stands out because she explained it.

    Rowe's logic for voting against the Newberry CSD's appeal was asinine.

    For some background on Rowe, she was appointed through a "secret process" orchestrated by the then Board of Supervisors' morally corrupt chairman, Robert Lovingood, when Supervisor James Ramos vacated his 3rd District seat on December 3, 2018, by being sworn in for a seat in the State Assembly.

    The 3rd District comprises over 400,000 residents in the "Hi-Desert" areas of Lucerne Valley, Johnson Valley, Yucca Valley, Joshua Tree, Twenty-nine Palms, and the mountain communities.

    The San Bernardino Superior Court subsequently voided Dawn Rowe's appointment as violating the state's Ralph M. Brown Act.  The county Supervisors then set aside $500,000 for legal fees to appeal the court's decision, which they did.

    On January 8, 2020, the lower court's ruling was upheld and the Supervisors ordered to rescind Rowe's appointment (at the next Board meeting on January 28th).  The Board may yet appeal the Appellate decision.

    If the Supervisors don't appeal, Gov. Newsom may appoint a Democrat successor.  In short, Rowe is likely to continue to retain her seat while the issue is being litigated at taxpayers' great expense.

    Steve Brown, editor of the Mojave Watch, apparently also picked up on Supervisor Rowe's asinine logic.  He has published her comments given at the Newberry CSD's appeal hearing.  Revisiting Rowe's words in Brown's Mojave Watch has once again got my blood boiling, so let me vent by sharing Rowe's comments:

    "I just had one quick comment, and I know that when we passed the Renewable Energy Conservation Element, the Section 4.10, we all knew that there were some of these projects that would move forward that were grandfathered in, regardless of how frustrated that may have made us.

    However, having said that, you cannot change the rules on anybody midway.  It's the fault perhaps, or the lack of foresight that the county had not to see that this was coming in some of our areas that would affect our residents, but that doesn't mean you change the goalposts on the developer, and that's these companies have a tremendous amount invested hopefully to mitigate all of the impacts that were mentioned today and to make our neighborhoods better.

    And, I understand that those negative impacts that will be had on those Newberry Springs residents, but I just wanted to point out that it is also not fair to the development community to make those changes mid-project.  They have a lot invested in their project in our community and our county, so I wanted to balance that."

    In office for only a short time, Supervisor Rowe has already gone to the dark side and has qualified as a candidate for the poster image of San Bernardino County's out-of-control corruption.

    Appointed to supposedly represent the people, her moral bankruptcy is directed to benefit the foreign corporations coming in and killing existing communities.

    In her narrative above, Rowe's concern isn't for the families who have lived in the county for decades, it is for the profit of outside corporations who are coming in and raping the county's citizens of their health, commandeering their home investments, and the county's natural resources.

    It is Rowe's horrific corruption that is "changing the goalposts" on the residential citizens.

    These solar corporations came into the county knowing of the development of Policy 4.10 beforehand.  It was a corporate risk they undertook that the county's corrupt Land Use Services Department, headed by Terri Rahhal, would support them.  And that Rahhal has.

    Terri Rahhal, a non-elected official, is the sole person responsible for the county's Land Use Services endorsement of the "grandfather" policy that the morally corrupt Planning Commission and the Supervisors relied upon in difference to the residents' pleas.

    The County could have simply taken the reasonable position of taking solar applications  subject to  the upcoming Code.  The incoming solar developers could have waited for the Code or taken a risk.  It is what Moratoriums are about.

    Rowe further states that the county lacked the foresight.  This is B S!  The county received several early letters directed to Land Use Services and county officials forecasting the grandfather conflict.  The corrupt county chose to ignore the letters and follow the path of cuddling the solar industry by continuing to accept applications, ignoring the county and state restrictions and laws, and issuing permits in favor of the solar developers.

    Incredibly, Supervisor Rowe pronounced, "...that's these companies have a tremendous amount invested, hopefully, to mitigate all of the impacts that were mentioned today and to make our neighborhoods better."

    Is this woman on Crack?  Unmitigable damages were just documented by public testimony before her for an hour and she has the audacity to state that hopefully, the solar developers will mitigate everything and "make our neighborhoods better."  Is this lady spaced in another world?

    What about the "tremendous amount invested"  by the residents?  Why doesn't Rowe recognize that?  Why does she support the corporate figureheads who don't even live in this county?

    At least this Supervisor was stupid enough to open her mouth to explain herself and display her intellect.  She has demonstrated a lack of empathy for the residents and her incapability to protect the lives of the citizens of this county.

    The fact that the Supervisors are spending huge amounts of taxpayer money to keep this woman in office displays the fraternal Board corruption.

    She is expected to run for the seat in the 2020 election.  In this crazy county, she will likely win.

    UPDATE!  What isn't covered and explained above is that any elected politician, including a county supervisor, upon taking an elected seat, by law owes a fiduciary duty of trust to represent his/her constituents' highest and best interest, much like an attorney.

    In the matter of Clearway Energy, the County governed by the elected Supervisors, owed a fiduciary duty to protect the highest and best interests of the County's citizens. Not the interests of Clearway Energy, not the best interests of the state's governor, the Public Utilities Commission, the California Energy Commission, or anyone else.

    The County's industrial solar placements in the Mojave Valley are not "discretionary decisions" as Clearway Energy and the other solar projects do not offer the county any balancing benefits.

    The County breached its fiduciary duty of trust in authorizing the placements that were known to be hazardous to the downwind residents of Newberry Springs.

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