Newberry CSD President
Robert Royalty
Still Suppressing Public Documents

      Sitting on his appointed throne, cranky obstructionist Robert Royalty, Newberry CSD's president, continues to shamefully block the public's entitlement to the Due Process right of government review.  Royalty's term expires in 2015.

Robert Royalty takes another dump
on Newberry's citizens.

Friday • September 13, 2013 • Zombieland

    When you have something around as unpleasant as an adult's dirty diaper, why keep it?

    Just like milk, long past its expiration date, ya throw it out!     

    So it seems applicable with Robert Royalty, who as president and chairman of the Newberry Community Services District, is making edicts that stink; and the odor is now permeating upon the other directors for keeping him disgracefully in charge of their CSD board meetings as chairman.

A war over documents.

    The lead controlling legal document in the state of California is the state's constitution.  All other legal documents, laws, case laws, and legal opinions fall under its purview.  As previously printed in the Blotter, the California Constitution's Declaration of Rights, Article 1 Section 3(b)(1) reads:

    "The people have the right of access to information concerning the conduct of the people's business, and, therefore, the meetings of public bodies and the writings of public officials and agencies shall be open to public scrutiny."

This principle is considered so important and fundamental that it is placed in the first Article.  Note the important operational word: "shall".  It doesn't say may or can be open but "...shall be open to public scrutiny."

    The Newberry Springs Community Alliance still has two outstanding California Public Records Act requests for documents before the Newberry CSD that Royalty has taken the lead in blocking.  One request originated as far back as last February!

    Can a person, sitting as chair on any CSD board, legally conspire with a legal counsel and other board members to conceal pertinent information that is the backbone of their CSD's governmental decisions?  In reading the state's constitution, it doesn't seem so.  At least, nowhere in California.

    Robert Royalty, as chairperson of the Newberry CSD, claims attorney-client privilege of all communications between the CSD's hired legal counsel and the board.  Attorney-client communication privilege is highly recognized in law; but it is not absolute.  In CSD public board decisions, this blog site believes that disclosure falls upon the preponderance of the weight of what creates the best public benefit.

    It is agreed with Royalty that the CSD's legal counsel's opinions can be privileged if desired; but only until a legal opinion is used as the reason and foundation for a board vote.  At that point, the opinion must be made public as the board cannot violate the state's Constitution and conduct its business in secrecy.

Preponderance of evidence.

    State Attorney literature states that in determining the preponderance of weight, the determination must be based upon the measure of the weight upon the good of public disclosure; not upon the government's desire for retention.  Also, what Royalty is withholding is truly petty.  It is not an employment nor litigation matter that must be withheld due to state law; but he is doing a self-power exertion over lesser documents that only an elected knucklehead would make a issue of; concealing background vote information from public scrutiny.

    Whatever the legal excuse claimed by Royalty and the board to retain the documents, the retention of the documents has been by their choice.  If their attorney encourages it, then he should be quickly replaced; just as Royalty should be replaced.

In the attorney-client relationship, the people are the end client.

    The people through their tax dollars are paying for the legal opinions.  The people are paying the board directors stipends as their agents to represent them.  The end client in the attorney-client relationship are the people and they are entitled to open transparency and full disclosure.

Lame duck board members condone Royalty by their
vote and pitiful silence at public board meetings.

Currently on the CSD board:

•  Robert Royalty

•  Diana Williams, LD

•  Wayne L. Snively, LD

•  Kathleen Ridler, LD

•  Paula Deel

    Royalty and the supporting board members have lost the focus that they are representing the people.  Legal opinions obtained by the board at taxpayer expense belong to the CSD.  The CSD belongs to the people.  Royalty appears to be exalting himself upon an egocentric power trip of being royalty.

    The CSD board appears to have forgotten that the board's first priority is to protect the people.  Open transparency of the board's documentation, that directly impacts the board's voting decisions, is for the protection of the citizenry.

    When counsel's legal OPINION is used exclusively in CSD board decisions, the public has a right to scrutinize it.  The preponderance of weight for disclosure clearly falls upon the public's right to know.  Legal counsel's opinion could be wrong!  Why should someone living far outside of Newberry Springs be allowed to continue to impact the direction of the community without the public's scrutiny of competency.

    Robert Royalty, by the tyranny of projecting his petty self-importance, has been violating the public's right of Due Process to review.  The public is being prevented its constitutional right to watchdog its elected officials if the documents behind the official votes are kept secret.

Newberry CSD has poor leadership.

    Newberry Springs is truly a screwed-up community.  The fault clearly falls upon the public's apathy to hold its governmental representatives accountable; and for electing poor leadership in the first place. (Grand Jury opinion.)

    Paula Deel was recently appointed to the CSD board by default because no one else requested the position.  She replaces ex-director Calvin Owens who previously acquired the same seat also by default because he was one of only two candidates vying for two open seats.  Last month's public CSD election had four candidates for three open seats.  Not much competition.

    In essence, the new CSD board will be primarily made-up of board members who have acquired their seats by default.  Almost anyone, or their pony, can get onto the CSD board and start collecting their prized stipends.  For some like Royalty, that's $50.00 per meeting for doing little more than just showing-up and reading off a staff prepared agenda.

    The August 2013 Newberry CSD election had 930 eligible voters of whom only 209 voted for a percentage turnout of 22.47 percent.  Apparently, the list of candidates was so poor that 77.53 percent of the registered voters didn't even bother to return their postage-free mail-in ballots.

    The views presented here are those of legal laymen; so communication has gone out this month to legal authorities for further clarification.  Courtesy copies of the communicaiton have also been sent to entities such as LAFCO and the Grand Jury.

    Even if the legal layman opinions expressed here, over the board's required release of documents, are later deemed wrong; it is important to remember that the release of documents totally lies with Robert Royalty and the CSD board.  They are the ones that are enacting a legal excuse to cowardly hide the documents and prevent the citizens of Newberry Springs from exercising their state constitutional rights to monitor the CSD actions.

    The CSD directors who do not openly speak-out for the public release of such documents, and open board transparency, are not worthy of the community's respect.


    The conclusion here will end with an audio sample of Robert Royalty acting as a complete jerk as chairman of the Newberry CSD.  Members of the public are entitled to speak before the CSD board at General Meetings on any agenda item for 3 minutes.

    At the August 27, 2013 board meeting, Robert Royalty was unhappy that the speaker was publicly bringing to light the board's misconduct in improperly responding to California Public Record Act requests.  There are state mandated requirements as to how even a refusal must be handled; and the board under Robert Royalty has been repeatedly violating the law.

    Rather than acknowleging the documented problems and making corrections, Robert Royalty's asinine response was to cut-off the speaker who was presenting the illegal actions taken by the board.

    Royalty's response was to discriminately deny the speaker the right to a 3-minute speaker's period.  Royalty's arrogrance remains highly abusive and assaultive to the Newberry Springs community and reflective as to how totally out-of-control Royalty mishandles his position as chairman; and why the Grand Jury has condemned the CSD's General Meeting management.

    Robert Royalty is the poster child as to why the dysfunctional Newberry CSD should be disbanded in favor of county control.  Community people coming before the CSD board have a right to be listened to.  When the board stops listening, it is time for the board to be dissolved.  Even the county treats its constitutents better.

Robert Royalty disgracefully demonstrates why Newberry Springs
cannot properly operate its community CSD.
  (520KB MP3 Audio)
(If you do not see an audio play bar, your browser needs a MP3 audio player plug-in.)

Related past blog:

Newberry CSD continues to conceal public documents.

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