CSD board race becomes interesting.
Posted: October 21, 2018
Alliances take shape.
The election race of the Newberry CSD board has become
the most interesting local race in years as candidates Robert Shaw and
Ted Stimpfel joined forces early to run on a progressive Change slate.
In past elections, the CSD board candidates have traditionally
run as separate individuals and the voters have generally selected popular names
familiar to them. In large part, that may reoccur in November, but this
year Shaw and Stimpfel have spiced the selection process with important issues.
To counter this, incumbents Robert Springer and Victoria
Paulsen have joined forces in an attempt to remain seated and have embraced
newbie candidate Jack Unger onto their slate.
To provide some background, Victoria Paulsen is closely
aligned with her buddy on the board, Paula Deel, who was instrumental in
having Paulsen appointed to the board when Robert Vasseur abruptly resigned.
Paulsen is also on the board of NSEDA which Paula Deel
and her husband control. Jack Unger has appeared mesmerized by
the Deels and he represents a voting block of power for Paula Deel should Paulsen
and Unger both be elected. It is suspected that Jack Unger, who has
never before demonstrated any prior political interest in Newberry, was
also influenced by the Deels to run for office.
To counter Shaw and Stimpfel's progressive plans to advance
Newberry Springs, the Springer/Paulsen/Unger slate was just recently
organized and they have distributed flyers claiming that they are "Caring
People, & Great Team Players."
Hogwash, Newberry doesn't need more "Caring People," Newberry
needs representatives who can turn around Newberry's economic decline.
Springer, Paulsen, and Unger are good people.
Because the Newberry CSD doesn't do much, should the voters of Newberry
wish to continue in the past, their selection would maintain the
Shaw & Stimpfel have been promoting CSD upgrade.
Shaw and Stimpfel are pushing for a CSD makeover.
The expansion of community services and a stronger voice of the Newberry
CSD. Also, greater emphasis on the fire department and networking
with outside resources for the community.
While Shaw and Stimpfel would be a minority on the board,
the election of candidate Steven Miller could represent an important
swing vote for their desire to advance Newberry. Jack Unger is considered
a remote wildcard to upgrade the CSD.
Incumbent Victoria Paulsen
Incumbent Paulsen was selected and promoted by
Paula Deel to the board about two years ago. Paulsen has a
personality that doesn't like conflict. She is smart and
a good worker but she could easily be labeled a pleaser who has
done very little on her own.
Paulsen's record on the board doesn't look good.
Paula Deel obviously recognizes that Paula might be losing her rubber
stamp. So something very funny has happened. Two weeks
before the election, after two years of not addressing CSD service
expansion, Victoria Paulsen has now adopted Shaw & Stimpfel's
long-held service expansion platform.
Oh, the hypocrisy that surfaces during an election.
For the October 23, 2018, monthly board meeting, Paulsen is now asking the
board to consider the expansion of its public services. She is attempting to
capitalize on Shaw & Stimpfel's long promoted platform by flip-flopping and
cozying up to it. This isn't a strategic tactic that is in character
Another shameful and obvious election ploy by Paulsen
is another October board agenda item. Paulsen is attempting to
capture fire department votes by asking the board to "Arrange a Big
Community-Wide Recognition for Our Fire Department in February.
Games, Food, a Contest or Two."
Why has Paulsen done this two weeks
before the election? The fire department deserves better than
to be dragged into a dumb election trick. They deserve better
compensation and better equipment.
As the fire department election scheme is also outside
of Paulsen's past practice, the strategies are obviously coming from
The greatest threat to Newberry Springs is utility-scale
solar development. The threat is principally centered on the health
hazards arising from blowing silica dust. The CSD has done little
to effectively address it. The people of the Morongo Basin,
Twenty-nine Palms, and the Lucerne Valley areas have been light-years
ahead of Newberry in fighting large-scale solar development.
In February 2018, Ted Stimpfel (representing the Newberry
Springs Community Alliance) traveled with Bob Berkman (of CEQA Now) to
Yucca Valley and attended a Morongo Basin Conservation
Association (MBCA) board meeting. Stimpfel met and collaborated
with the MBCA and was able to bring the proposed Daggett and Newberry
solar projects into their fight. Our area's solar projects are no
longer on the fringe of the MBCA's discussions with the County but
Stimpfel was also able to get expert Pat Flanagan of Desert Heights
involved who has been a wonderful blessing to Newberry. She has made
two trips to Newberry for public meetings and has made two additional trips
bringing her brother from Twenty-nine Palms to survey our area.
Her brother is a member of the county's Planning Commission. He later
led the Commission's discussions on the Renewable Energy and Conservation
Element's Policy 4.10 hearing
and obtained a critical and favorable Planning Commission 5-0 vote.
Networking with outside entities will be necessary
for Newberry Springs to advance. The Newberry CSD hasn't done this
in the past. Shaw and Stimpfel believe that this is one of many
changes that need to be embraced.
Election November 3, 2018.
This November's election Newberry voters will be
facing a choice. They can maintain the CSD's static direction
or vote for Change to expand the scope of the CSD's services.
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