Newberry Springs, Daggett, Yermo CSDs
To Have An Early Review By The
Local Agency Formation Commission
LAFCO has essentially placed a choker chain around the neck of the Newberry CSD.
Newberry CSD should officially receive the ominous news in about 2-3 weeks.
September 20, 2013
Daggett and Yermo impacted by Newberry's mismanagement.
Every five years, or so, a Community Service District (CSD) must
go through a Local Agency Formation Commission review, from which the CSD is authorized.
We say approximately 5-years because the review timing isn't set in stone. It can be 5 years
or more depending upon circumstances; however, 5 years is the legal target.
Unfortunately, the Newberry CSD directors have so badly mismanaged the CSD
that the CSD now shamefully carries the infamous SCARLET MARK of the county's 2013 Grand Jury's
Based upon the Grand Jury's conclusions, LAFCO at its last hearing on
Wednesday, September 18, 2013, in the City of San Bernardino's council chambers,
followed the 2013 Grand Jury's Report and implemented an Out of Cycle Service Review
for Newberry Springs. The vote was for Option #2 on LAFCO's
Agenda Item 8.
As shown in Agenda Item 8, Option #2 was taken with the financial
concern of costs totalling at least $15,000. However, due to the severity of the Newberry CSD
situation, Option #2, an early review, was deemed necessary. Because the Daggett and Yermo
CSDs are reviewed at the same time as Newberry's, Daggett and Yermo's CSDs will be reviewed
This Blotter's blog is the first public notice of the expedited
reviews to be later served upon the CSDs. The CSDs are not expected to
receive official word for about 2 to 3 weeks whereby requests for documents and a full blown
review is expected to follow.
After the June 2013 release of the Grand Jury's report, the Newberry CSD has been
scrambling to catch-up with its many delinquencies. One being the absence of 3-years of audited
financials. Although the first audit of 2009-2010 has been completed with a finding of
unaccountable funds, audits for 2010-2011, and 2011-1012 still must be accomplished.
By law, a financial audit must be completed each fiscal year.
The Newberry CSD's official response to the 2013 Grand Jury Report is believed due September
During the last LAFCO review in 2009, LAFCO was recommending that the
Newberry Springs, Daggett, and Yermo CSDs consolidate. Recognizing the deficiencies in
Newberry Springs ability to seat qualified individuals upon the local CSD board and staff,
LAFCO felt that with the merger of the three CSDs, together they could afford to hire
a professional General Manager.
The mere thought of a merger had the populations almost rioting as
if their individual sovereignties were about to be stripped from them. People showed up
in mass at a public hearing at the Silver Valley High School auditorium.
This time around LAFCO will be armed with the very damaging 2013
Grand Jury Report that substantiates that Newberry Springs cannot properly govern itself.
While there are definite benefits in consolidation, it isn't the answer. There are too
many differences between the communities. While Daggett is comprised of small residential
sized lots, Newberry Springs has large parcels.
There are also vast differences in culture, focus and goals.
Newberry Springs for instance doesn't want to be saddled with sharing Yermo's potential
water system debt. Daggett might be better served being absorbed by Barstow or Yermo
than programmatic Newberry Springs.
Probably the best scenerio of the Newberry CSD closing would be
having the powers returned to the county with a Newberry Springs Community Advisory Board
being established to work directly with the First District supervisor and county staff.
With the powers returned to the county, better professional leadership would be available to
Newberry Springs and perhaps more county funds being directed to the community.
Any notion of the Newberry CSD being dissolved will likely again
be met with stiff public opposition. The past history of the Newberry CSD has shown
it to have hindered the community's development. Despite that, some citizens have
convinced themselves that Newberry Springs, without many of the basic community amenities,
is the perfect place to live and that the Newberry CSD should be maintained.
Related past blog:
2013 Grand Jury Slams Newberry CSD.
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