Clear issues divide the CSD candidates.

Posted: August 15, 2018

Voters have an opportunity for change.

    The registration for Newberry CSD candidates for the November 6, 2018 election has closed.  Newberry Springs' voters will now have a selection of six candidates to fill three available CSD seats.

    The incumbent candidates are Robert Shaw, Robert M. Springer, and Victoria "Vickie" Paulsen.  Challenging their seats are Jack A. Unger, Stephen W. Miller, and Ted Stimpfel, a community activist and editor of the Community Alliance blog.

    All are good civic-minded people but only half will have a board seat waiting after the next election when the local voters will decide issues that hinge the fate of both the CSD and the community.

    The incumbent, Robert Shaw, has appeared frustrated during his last term over the board's lack of service.  The voters of Newberry Springs have repeatedly elected popular community figures who have demonstrated little ability to creatively lead.  This has led to board stagnation and a lack of community service.

    Just ask yourself, in the last 60 years of the CSD, what has the CSD actually done to improve your daily life in Newberry?  Other than the sense of good fire protection, zippo!

    The only recent salvation in the last decade was the fortunate hiring of the late Le Hayes who as General Manager was able to save the CSD from a well deserved 2012-2013 Grand Jury investigation.  Hayes passed away a week ago.

Le Hayes

    Director Robert Shaw, a lonely minority vote of one, has been unsuccessful in trying to get the CSD board to release a portion of the Kiewit Pacific (KP) fund for building a defense against the proposed Daggett and Minneola solar projects.  The projects are expected to greatly increase the dust health hazard in Newberry Springs.

    While the current dust is very dangerous during wind events, many Newberrians are totally unaware that the microscopic silica dust particles that they inhale are slowly killing their lungs.  Once the invisible dust gets into the lungs it is permanent and untreatable.  The proposed solar projects are expected to substantially increase the silica dust hazard to those living in the Silver Valley, especially Newberry Springs downwind.

    The fact that Director Shaw has stood alone with no support from the other directors on this major health issue demonstrates the dysfunction and caliber of the CSD board.

    The upcoming election is expected to center on the solar issue, the KP funds, and the future direction of the CSD.  The incumbent candidates Robert Springer and Vickie Paulsen appear determined to continue to freeze the aging KP funds.  Perhaps to purchase a giant tombstone for Newberry Springs.

    Since January, candidate Ted Stimpfel has been very outspoken in his support of incumbent Robert Shaw's desire to use the KP funds that Stimpfel believes is critically necessary as the community's health is at risk.  No one has responded to Stimpfel's question as to what greater purpose is there for the 14-year old community fund.

    Incumbent Robert Springer has done well procedurally in managing the local board meetings and acting as CSD president.  Springer's philosophy appears to be old school in following the very limited definition and traditional service laid out for the CSD 60 years ago.  For those who find satisfaction and comfort in the CSD remaining as is, and don't have any solar health concerns, then Springer is a worthy candidate to consider.

    Incumbent Vicky Paulsen is a nonelected board member appointed by the directors after Director Robert Vasseur vacated his seat.  Paulsen was recommended and promoted by director Paula Deel who wanted someone to support her political agenda, which Paulsen has faithfully done.  They are buddies and they have been the principle block in preventing the KP funds from being used to protect Newberry Springs from the proposed 5.5-square miles of solar projects and their dust.

The massive boundary scope of the Desert Trails Promise Zone.

    Vicky Paulsen also played an earlier role in supporting Paul Deel's NSEDA mismanagement of the Desert Trails Promise Zone application in 2016 that directly led to the grant application's failure.  This loss cost Newberry Springs potentially tens of millions of dollars that would have been directed to the community through a remarkable economic development opportunity sponsored by the Obama Administration.

    The loss caused similar disappointment and pain from Hinkley to Needles and the Chemehuevi Indian Reservation.  Paulsen's involvement with NSEDA, and the previous Property Owners Association, has been a history of disappointment.

    Stephen Miller was a last minute sign-up for the race but he is expected to poll very well.  A long time fire official of the community, he is well known and popular.  His position on solar and the KP funds isn't clearly defined but he appears open-minded to the community's preservation from solar.  Miller is also receptive to the idea of growing the CSD's services.

    Candidate Jack Unger is something of a dark horse regarding his platform.  Like Miller, Unger's platform isn't known yet but he seems interested in exploring the options of a solar defense.  Unger is well educated, uses common sense, and is an expert and published author in the technical field of the Internet's establishment of Wireless Wide-Area Networks (WWAN).

    With three seats open, the voters have an opportunity to maintain the current conservative guard by voting for Springer and Paulsen.  Or, for a progressive change for the first time in the CSD's 60 year history, the voters can vote for Shaw and Stimpfel.  If the Shaw/Stimpfel slate is broken and if either Paulsen and Springer are returned to office, the board will likely lack a consensus for change.

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