Newberry CSD Board
Newberry Springs Chamber of Commerce
Derelict In Economic Opportunities

      One guest speaker at the San Bernardino county's recent Tourism Summit was Brian Wright, above, who has been leading destination marketing organizations (DMOs) and works Executive Relations at Visit California, the official travel Web site of the state of California.  He presented the current trends that are influencing local travel and how businesses and communities can capitalize upon them.

Newberry leaders are still failing the community.

October 27, 2014

      To prosper, at a minimum, one has to get off the butt and move.  Driving through the sun bleached desert hamlet of Newberry Springs, it doesn't appear that anyone has moved in a long time.

      Back on September 24, 2013, the Blotter posted a blog on an Inland Empire pro-business/tourism organization called DiscoverIE and its 2013 Tourism Summit held at the San Manuel Village in Highland, California.

      This was a half-day event highlighting how businesses and communities can attract tourism and related businesses to stimulate their local economy.  Last year, as in years prior, Newberry's organizations were a no show.  This year the pathetic apathy continued.

      This year's Tourism Summit, held on October 23, 2014, was organized by the newly developed Tourism Department of the County of San Bernardino's Economic Development Agency.  The event was held at the Lake Arrowhead Resort & Spa.

      Opening the event this year were county Chair Supervisor Janice Rutherford and Supervisor James Ramos who both spoke briefly.

      These Tourism Summits hold valuable information and networking opportunities for communities like Newberry Springs to access economic growth through tourism.  For those who haven't paid attention, Newberry Springs is dying.  In a few years, there will be substantial farming cutbacks due to the state's new water law requiring sustainability of the community's aquifers; and Newberry Springs needs a new stimulus for its survival.

      Heavy industries that require water will not be locating in Newberry Springs; but the one winning pony that the community can ride is tourism. . . if the community starts planning for it now.  Currently, the leadership for this should be coming from the Community Service Distict (CSD); but its board members are unaware because they haven't attended any of the summits and other educational programs that the county and others are offering for free.

      Likewise, the Newberry Springs Chamber of Commerce has failed to attract any new businesses to Newberry.  Rather than functioning as a true Chamber, it concentrates on functioning as a community social club that has the annual nut festival, helps to collect funds for fireworks, and donates a few dollars for token prizes for the annual Trick-or-Treat event.  (Special thanks to Kris Watson who actually does the work organizing this fun kids event.)

      Good community people, and fine intentions are not enough.  Lasting and meaningful results are what matters.  Newberry Springs is slowly withering.  Currently, Newberry has the autonomy to make good things happen; but if its leadership won't direct its attention to focus on the future, then perhaps the CSD should be dissolved in favor of a county Municipal Advisory Council.  At least then, county professionals will be working to improve the economy and creating jobs for Newberry Springs.

      The 2012-2013 Grand Jury report was a wake-up call.  Not only to the CSD but also to the entire community.

      The purpose of the CSD is to serve the community's needs; but its board of directors is lax with the excuse that it is only licensed by LAFCO to handle the fire department, parks, and street lighting.  Well, look around.  The community needs far more.

      It is time that the board reexamines itself.  The CSD board has selected a very capable General Manager.  It is time that the board reaches out and expands its powers.  Concentrating on economic development and tourism would be the next logical step.

      For long-term survival, Newberry Springs needs leadership.

Related link:
Failure to promote stagnates Newberry Springs.

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