Director Robert Vasseur (CSD term expires 2017) — Newberry CSD's jungle, chest thumping, yodeling Tarzan.
Posted: June 28, 2015
Bloody killing fields.
During the last Newberry Community Services District's (CSD) general
meeting on June 23, 2015, director Paula Deel pushed her agenda item that proposed that the
CSD should endorse a letter requesting the removal of ravens from the California Migrating
Bird list. Deel's effort appeared to possibly be a private, special interest payoff, to
appease a well known pistachio farmer who wants to shoot the highly intelligent birds.
The agenda was also peppered with an agenda request by the soft
spoken and hard to understand Deel, for a CSD letter directed to county Supervisor Robert
Lovingood opposing the sale of Cadiz water from the Cadiz water basin.
Director Robert Vasseur was uppity-quick to oppose Paula Deel's
proposals as being outside the authority of the local CSD's scope. Vasseur cried that
any letter, be it opposing birds or the Cadiz water giveaway, was outside of the CSD's
jurisdication and would represent an expenditure of time, CSD employee assets, and expenses
(such as paper, envelopes, and stamps) not covered by the CSD's LAFCO (Local Agency Formation
Director Deel countered Vasseur by saying that she, on her own time,
would be writing the raven and Cadiz water letters; and that she was only asking for the
CSD board's endorsement.
So much time was spent in arguments over the petty inappropriateness
of the letters, that when it came time to vote upon them, the board voted in
exhaustion, without any true discussion upon the actual full merits of the letters
themselves. For instance, it isn't clear if there is any immediate need to open
Newberry's farms as killing fields, with bullets flying everywhere against California's
most intelligent birds. The merits of the motions got muddled and replaced by personal
grandstanding. This failure rests with CSD president and chairperson Robert Springer who
continues to fail to properly control the meetings under Robert Rules of Order.
Despite Vasseur's staunch self-righteous arguments that Deel's
proposed letters represented a wrongful action by the Newberry CSD, with Deel's modification
that the letters would be written by herself, director Vasseur did a 180-degree flip-flop.
Based upon the modification, and despite the letters continuing
to be outside the realm of the CSD's jurisdication, inconsistent Vasseur U-turned and he
himself seconded Deel's proposal to promote the open killing of the magnificent birds.
Likewise, despite director Robert Shaw also agruing against the
Cadiz water letter, he seconded the motion himself. Both of Deel's motions for letters
passed the board unanimously with yea votes from Robert Springer, Robert Royalty, Robert Shaw,
and Robert Vasseur.
Neither of the two above letters have anything to do with the
Newberry CSD's authority. They illustrate the wasteful incompetence and the bumbling of
the inept board; and the board's path of personal special interests, chest beating, followed by
the usual taking of the path of least resistence; voting on matters in which the merits are
not fully understood; and without any staff report. This is a continuance of the cycle
of previous boards where hundreds of thousands of dollars of precious Newberry CSD funds have
Vasseur appears to want to maintain the limited scope of the
Newberry CSD that makes the collection of his stipend easier. Unfortunately, this
severely stiffles the ability of Newberry Springs to progress. Paula Deel appears
to want to see the CSD expand its scope; but self-serving expansion favoring her special
interests without proper authority is also destructive and ill fated.
Currently, Newberry Springs is withering under the pompous pride
of wanting to maintain its autonomy by operating its own CSD. Clearly, if the community
is to progress, the Newberry CSD needs to expand its powers. Unfortunately, under its
current and past boards, the CSD has demonstrated that it cannot handle its already-given
limited powers, much less the taking on of more responsibilities.
Applications for the next CSD board election begin July 13, 2015 for
the expiration of seats currently held by Paula Deel and Robert Royalty. The progress
of Newberry Springs will largely depend upon the mindset and vision of those who will fill the
seats. Newberry Springs is like an uncut diamond; nobody currently on the CSD board has
any clue or understanding of how to properly cut it. New public servants from the
community are needed to make the cut.