Calvin Owens Slips Badly
In Political Debut
Posted February 2, 2012
The January 2012 meeting of the Newberry Springs' Community Service District
turned into another beleaguered, dragged-out comedy performance as the newly seated director,
Calvin Owens, handled his first full meeting. The unelected and seated by default Owens
stumbled badly coming-out of the political potty stall.
The first business item he sponsored was an attack upon community
efforts to acquire an elevated crossing of Newberry Road over the BNSF railroad tracks.
Owens pushed the CSD board to "Repeal the authority given to Mr. Ted Stimpfel to speak for the
Newberry CSD in this matter and discontinue the matter."
A couple of years earlier, Stimpfel desired to seek an overpass
for community safety and for unrestricted emergency vehicles over the often blocked railroad tracks.
In his efforts, Stimpfel personally acquired the endorsement of local organizations, including the CSD,
and he successfully had the county of San Bernardino place the crossing upon a waiting list of
desired railroad crossing improvements.
Stimpfel spoke at the January CSD meeting and explained that the earlier CSD
action did not involve giving him any authority in negotiating or binding the CSD; but only
consisted of a CSD supportive endorsement for the improvement that was taken before the county's
department of transportation; it did not involve any authorization powers as Owens erroneously
Owens admitted that he failed to contact Stimpfel or give him any prior
notice of his agenda item. Owens was not active with the CSD when the overpass matter was
initially brought before the CSD two years ago. Apparently the matter was recently lobbied
to Owens by others.
Of interest is why did Owens make this miniscule item a rush, hot-button issue?
Why is Owens against safer roadways and better emergency response times? Why did Owens
want this important safety matter "discontinued" ?
Seeing Owens' agenda item failing, CSD Director Diana Williams quickly
rushed to Owen's defense stating that she believed an authorization was earlier involved.
Obviously, the premise that these collaborating directors were trying to clean-up old "loose ends"
was fake; for the action appears orchestrated as a cheap political payback against Stimpfel;
likely from interests originating from outside the board.
Interestingly, Director Williams holds the title of CSD Financial Officer,
yet even her own 2010 Statement
of Economic Interests (California Form 700) that all office holders must fill out under
penalty of perjury, contains only the single cover page, and that skips over the required
"Schedule Summary" (Item No. 4.) disclosure. Director Williams submission appears to be a
of the California Fair Political Practices law.
Most of the other CSD board members seemed clueless as to the political nature
of Owens' proposal. President Seeley and Director Snively did appear to recognize an
With a revision to Owens' original proposal, the board voted to maintain
the CSD's endorsement but removed the authorization which never existed. Voting in favor
were President Robert Seeley and Directors Robert Royalty, Diana Williams, and Calvin Owens.
Director Wayne Snively, grateful for the progress Stimpfel voluntarily accomplished, voted no.
Stimpfel stated to the Community Alliance that the CSD's action in
removing authority that never existed nor needed doesn't impact him and that he will continue
his efforts despite the muddlesomeness of the Newberry CSD's petty politics.
During Stimpfel's comments before the CSD, he stated that due to the state's
financial shortfall, he does not expect funding to be avaiable in the foreseeable future for the
overpass; however, the proposed project is now listed should funding become later available.
Director Owens slipped again when he sponsored a second poor agenda item to
"Explore Annexation Of Area To The Newberry Community Services District." The Board's
discussion quickly centered upon the economics and the lack of a tax base to support and service an
expanded area. Apparently, Owens wanted to rule over a greater kingdom but the CSD is having
financial difficulty handling what it currently has. Recently the CSD had to give-up
possession of the CERT trailer; and earlier, a grant to acquire a portable water pump and purifier,
due to a lack of available maintenance funds.
Owen's second proposal totally flunked with the other directors. Even Owens
himself ended up voting against it. Together, Owen's ill proposals took up 32-minutes of the
Board's and the attending public's time.