Robert Vasseur Being Himself

Newberry CSD board continues dysfunctional groveling.
CSD board calls for another $500 Special Meeting.
Director Owens continues his conflict-of-interest voting.
  and more. . .

Robert Vasseur (above off-center) at CSD board meeting.

Posted:  May 4, 2013

Robert Vasseur

    One of the more interesting and quirky personalities in Newberry Springs is 32-year resident Robert Vasseur who has served voluntarily in a number of civic positions.

    Being uncompromising in his opinion, he is known for being uncomfortably loud in his vocal presentations.

    Exhibiting good talent in Web page design, he has operated various websites to promote organizations; but had little success in operating an Internet news service for Newberry Springs.  The latter hinging more on community apathy and a lack of support in people contributing news than his valiant effort.

    In seeking a wider demographic base, Vasseur closed-out his Newberry news site and started a broader Barstow Area Community Forum that soon attracted a hacker, apparently in Europe, that placed many thousands of automated worthless posts.

    After many weeks, the posted spam was eventually removed; however, the site has remained basically unused by the public.

Bizarre Behavior

    The Community Alliance Blotter loves to rant about other people's rantings and Vasseur's vociferated CSD board meeting rants are among the best disservice we find.  They are brutally unspecific and lack offered solutions; and like a bad dream, they keep coming back.

    Vasseur has been regularly attending the Newberry CSD board meetings.  At the doorway entrance is a table that has a sign-in sheet, the meeting's agenda, and various public informational notices, flyers and brochures.  Prior to the start of the March 2013 meeting, Vasseur noticed that a community member had copied an estimated dozen copies of a Blotter story on Director Calvin Owens and had placed them on the table.  (Sorry, can't link the story here because we're unsure which story it was.)

    Well, Vasseur, who supports Owens, grumbled something that caught the attention of a few bystanders; he then picked-up all of the Blotter copies that were on the table and while still muttering, threw them in a wacko fashion out the door - littering the entrance.  Obviously cranky, Vasseur wants public Free Speech for himself at the CSD board meetings and for his own websites; but he won't tolerate any opposing Free Speech from other community members.

    Vasseur has expressed outrage that a community volunteer has received scrutiny over training for the community's fire department.  He ignores the established allegation that the matter involves moral turpitude in the misrepresentation of a fraudulent claim to wrongfully taking public CSD funds for previous personal training that had earlier been denied as being inappropriate by the acting Fire Chief.

    Robert Vasseur was featured a year ago in a Community Alliance video when he opposed the county paving Newberry Springs roads.  He reported fear of possible injury while riding his motorcycle upon new pavement and the possible contamination of his local water supply.

More Poor Behavior

    Vasseur recently addressed the CSD board at both the March and April monthly meetings.  The most destructive rant was in March.  In attendance at the meeting was Ron Frame, local area field representative for the county's First District supervisor, Robert Lovingood.  In the usual narrow minded narcissism of the CSD board, neither the CSD's Chair, Robert Royalty, nor any of the other board members gave Frame, who had driven a great distance to attend the meeting, any public introduction or recognition.

    Common courtesy and protocol would have such a distinguished person in the audience being immediately recognized at the start of the meeting.  Such a normal introduction would have given Frame the opportunity to state his purpose for attending the meeting; that reportedly was to announce that if the community would bind together without all of the petty fracturing, Lovingood was willing to work with the community to support its improvement and growth.

    What transpired at the meeting were initial speakers like Vasseur and Brandan Archibek coming forth to fill the meeting with so much negative venom that Frame took advantage of the first opportunity to flee the meeting early without speaking.

    Lovingood's office took the first step to reach out to help Newberry Springs but the community, and the Newberry CSD, demonstrated that they are far from being ready.  Lovingood is expected to invest his efforts in other communities that offer him better opportunities of success for his time.

Calvin Owens continues conflict.

    At the April 2013 CSD's general board meeting Calvin Owens once again voted on a fire department matter that he held a direct personal conflict-of-interest.  It would appear that Owens just isn't astute enough to understand the significance of his mounting violations.

CSD board members continue suckling the treasury.

    The April 2013 Newberry CSD board meeting included the tentative acceptance of the CSD's Community Center being rented to Kingdom Enrichment Community Services, of Compton, CA, to provide the Silver Valley with a 10-week summer nutritional food program for infants through 17 years of age (and Developmentally Disabled persons of any age).

    The morning program is sponsored by the California Department of Education Summer Food Service Program and The Wal-Mart National Giving Foundation.  Breakfast and lunch will be served daily, free of charge, Monday through Friday with recreational and enrichment activities provided between the meals.

    The Newberry CSD board could have simply approved the rental of the facilities under the condition that all necessary paperwork, such as insurance, liability waivers, a certified food handler supervising the meals, and so on be met and approved by the CSD's General Manager.  Instead, upon the introduction of the idea of a Special Meeting by (who else) Director Owens, the board saw an opportunity to continue its micromanaging by requiring yet another Special Meeting in order for each board member to line their pockets with a quickie $100 stipend.

    The Special Meeting would be to simply approve the acceptance of the paper work that the General Manager would have already carefully checked-over and packaged from the applicant.  The board has already blown through this current fiscal year's budget for Special Meeting stipends and budgeted funds from other accounts are now being tapped.

    When a community citizen questioned why not approve the matter contingent upon the General Manager acquiring the board's requested documents, Director Kathleen Ridler responded, "Approve documents we haven't seen?"   Yes, precisely

    The board's purpose is stewardship and setting the general direction of the CSD by establishing policies, protecting assets, approval of matters, and overseeing of the work of the General Manager.  The board's job is not to handle the daily operations of the CSD; such as checking if all the proper paperwork is turned in on a rental agreement; that is the job of the paid General Manager.  Unfortunately, the Newberry CSD's ego-tripping-board doesn't understand its function.  That is why some CSD board meetings will go 4-plus hours as unprepared and dysfunctional board members haggle over their micromanagement.

    It's like the Newberry CSD's circus Ring Master and Chairman, President Robert Royalty, who is responsible for running the board meetings.  Earlier in the meeting he asked the General Manager, who was sitting to his left, as to why there wasn't a special presentation on the Kingdom Enrichment matter at the beginning of the meeting.  He wasn't aware that it was an agenda item (listed on the agenda in front of his nose); indicating that he didn't even prepare for the meeting by prior familiarizing himself with the agenda and its many supporting documents.

Newberry CSD's chairman clueless. (92KB MP3 Audio)
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    Why is Royalty on the board and being paid a stipend when he isn't doing the basics of his job?  Some agenda items have extensive documents and there isn't time during a board meeting to study them; and lazy Royalty is making CSD board decisions without proper review or preparation.  He's ripping-off the citizens of Newberry Springs... and he is the board's leader!

    For the 10-week rental to Kingdom Enrichment Community Services, the CSD will be receiving $25 per week for a total $250.  The Special Meeting may cost $500 in stipends plus costs; so already the program is costing the CSD.  The applicant submitted a rental offer of $50 per week but the board reduced it without even checking to see if a greater fee was possible.  This state program may have a rental budget of $200 per week or more.  The lazy board failed in its fiduciary stewardship to the community to investigate; but was quick to slash the offered rent without even being asked to do so!

    Later in the same meeting, the board voted to include a second minor matter in the Special Meeting.  However, such short and unnecessary Special Meetings should not carry stipends.  The General Manager packages the documents submitted to the district and she is fully competent to certify compliance of the documents to the board requirements without the CSD's treasury being drained $500 in stipends plus all of the Special Meeting preparation costs and inconvenience.

Robert Vasseur's March 2013 CSD rant. (600KB MP3 Audio)
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Robert Vasseur's April 2013 CSD rant. (908KB MP3 Audio)
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