Fascinating Alliances Form
In Newberry CSD Election

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 status quo.

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 for her.

    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 elsewhere.

Solar issue.

    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 included upfront.

    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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