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Posted: October 11, 2020
Newberry Springs Community Alliance
by Ted Stimpfel

Paula Deel tries to spin her record.

    While I admit to not having seen the pro-Paula Deel websites, I have received an e-mail forwarded to my mailbox where Paula appears to attempt to rebut my earlier posting against her candidacy.

    For many pro-Paula supporters, Paula's spin undoubtedly reads well which is the problem in Newberry.  The community has had such poor governance of its CSD over such a long period that the community doesn't know what good is.

    Paula Deel may well get reelected.  But with the Democratic leadership in Sacramento sending mail-in ballots to all voters, I wanted to see if a change in the stagnant CSD's good-ole-boys could be done.

    For those who haven't seen Paula's rebuttal to me, in fairness, I will share it with my responses.  For those with an open mind, perhaps my views may be more understandable.

    I wish to highlight what I have stated on Facebook, I am an independent activist and my views and actions are NOT a part of Carmyn Vanlom nor Margie Robert's campaign.  I am simply a constituent tired of the ineptness of the Newberry CSD and Paula Deel, whose ambitions are beyond her capabilities.

Paula's Spin

Time to Retire, again?

---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Paula Deel
Date: Thu, Oct 8, 2020 at 7:33 PM
Subject: Setting the Record Straight:
To: Me

A lot of questions have been flying around and a lot of misinformation with them.  Here is my answer to a certain flyer that was sent to our community.  If you have more questions ‐ ask.  I am also posting this on Facebook.  The name of the page is: Paula Answers FAQs.  This is the only political email you will receive from me unless you ask a question.  Thank all of you who have emailed and called us during this time.  We appreciate your support.  And of course I would appreciate your vote.  Read on...

Paula

Newberry Community Services District:  The Board:  In 2013 I was asked to apply to fill a vacancy on the CSD Board after attending CSD meetings for several years Serving on the board is an honor, a privilege, and a challenge. The current board has strengthened the CSD's financial position and is now ready to make major improvements to our Fire Department and Parks. The board works together; not always agreeing but we are civil in our actions.

Response:  Yes, the current Newberry CSD has strengthened its financial position by selling-out the community's future health and financial worth by settling the solar litigation for a tiny fraction of its value.

Transparency: On our web page https://www.newberrycsd.net/ you will find agendas, minutes, and financials. Meetings are now being held on Zoom. Anyone can attend. If you want more information, ask the General Manager or a Director. There are NO secret meetings. But there are some things that require a closed session. All actions, if any, are reported when the Directors return to open session.

Response:  Please, by all means, do look at the Minutes of the past meetings and by the few words written, tell me who publicly spoke on matters and their position.  Minutes are supposed to be a historical record of what transpired so that an understanding of the meeting can be understood at a later date.

    Prior public notices of the Agenda of the last two Zoom meetings could not be publicly found in Newberry.  The Agendas are also so briefly written that the public is sometimes without an understanding of the Agenda item.

    Some citizens in Newberry are still without computers or Internet access.  The CSD is failing to reach out to them with adequate public notice of meetings.

    Up until the time that Le Hayes became General Manager, all CSD meetings were audio recorded.  Since then, no recordings, either audio or video, have been done.  This is despite me making numerous requests for recordings.

    With the recent Zoom meetings, the current General Manager only has to push a computer button to record meetings.  Zoom recorded meetings can be easily posted to the Internet for later viewing at a constituent's leisure.  Ask Paula why she has resisted transparency.

Solar:  We listened to residents - Both FOR and AGAINST the Project in meetings and in the community. I attended County meetings and wrote letters bringing up the failings of the process and location. At the County meetings that could have stopped the solar project there were not many comments or attendees by Newberry residents. The CSD Board sued the county; when we got to court the County virtually disappeared leaving the Project and our attorney to negotiate in Court mandated conferences. The settlement is posted on our website. There are training for fire departments; funds to purchase air monitoring equipment, and more. We also made sure that any resident whose life was negatively impacted by the Project could address this with the Project. The County approves projects - not the CSD board.

Response:  This is of HUGE IMPORTANCE to Newberry Springs.  The CSD arrogantly "listened" with closed ears.  For certain, they failed to act responsibly.

    When the Daggett solar project first came up on our radar, for a year, I attended CSD meetings begging the directors to act in preparation for what was coming.  Paula Deel and the other board members stuck their heads in the sand.  They negligently failed to prepare.

    Paula writes that Newberry was poorly represented at County meetings.  No, I disagree.  The illegality of the project was presented by Newberrians and others.  What we lacked was the critical expertise that I had begged the CSD to acquire.

    Upon the LAST possible CSD meeting to vote to file litigation, under extreme community pressure, the board voted to file litigation.  Even in doing that, they procedurally screwed it up.

    A very good legal brief that covered many of the solar project's violations was filed with the Superior Court.  It covered the illegalities of the project and how the County processed the application in violation of the County's own Codes.  A judge would have had great difficulty in not ruling in favor of the CSD.

    The CSD's lawsuit was against the County for the illegal processing and approval of the project.  The lawsuit was not against the solar developer.  The developer was only a party with interest.

    Paula Deel's statement that during the Mandatory Settlement Conference (MSC) "the County virtually disappeared leaving the Project and our attorney to negotiate in Court mandated conferences"  is bullshit.

    That is not an excuse.  If Paula believes that it is, it reveals her total lack of understanding of the legal process.  An MSC is simply a meeting to see if there is a possibility for settlement prior to the judge setting the matter on calendar for trial.  People must attend but nothing has to be agreed upon.

    If "the County virtually disappeared,"  it would have violated good faith attendence.  The CSD attorney did not need to negotiate nor settle anything, and would only have done so at the instruction of the CSD board!

    When you hold a strong winning hand, to capitulate as the CSD did, something seriously stinks!

    I can only describe the CSD's settlement as stupidity of the highest level.

    The so-called concessions that the directors claim they acquired are near worthless and/or unenforceable.  Paula writes, "We also made sure that any resident whose life was negatively impacted by the Project could address this with the Project."   How does that work Paula?  If a negatively impacted citizen has a complaint after the project is built, and if the developer can be located somewhere in the country, the developer is only to say f*** ***.

    I NEVER would have settled.  But in taking the betrayal route, the CSD should have acquired funds for its civic hub and fire station, an all-weather indoor swimming pool and ball court, and additional ammenities.  If the CSD knew how to negotiate, it could have done far better.

    For a billion-plus dollar project causing great harm to Newberry, none of the above should have been too difficult to acquire.

    Lacking these amenities, you can thank Paula Deel and the other inept directors.  You can also thank Paula and the CSD for interferring and blocking the Friends of Newberry Springs.

The terror and lasting trauma inflicted on Newberry Springs is coming from Ted Stimpfel's constant harassment and threats. Ted's shenanigans with the CSD's attorney cost the CSD thousands of dollars in legal fees.

Response:  Reporting facts are not threats.  It is the community that is now being threatened by solar thanks to the betrayal of Paula Deel and her cohorts on the CSD board.

    The extra CSD attorney costs involves the CSD fighting against the Newberry residents organized under the Friends of Newberry Springs who were attempting to have a voice in the litigation.  It is the Newberry residents that are being most impacted by the solar development and they simply wanted to have a voice in the litigation.

    I was only the residents' initial contact with the residents' attorney.  Paula Deel's beef is against the Newberry residents, not me.  Paula doesn't have her facts straight nor knows what she is doing.

    You must ask Paula Deel why the residents couldn't have a voice before the court?  The reason is obvious.  Paula Deel and the other directors wanted to betray the community and settle the litigation for a tiny fraction of its value without having the residents blocking it.

Newberry Springs Chamber of Commerce: The Chamber has continued to award scholarships to High School Students each year; organized and funded the Pumpkin Patch, The Pistachio Festival, and the Christmas House Decorating Contest all with the support of a great committee of residents. The solar project has made no donations to the Chamber - quietly or noisily.

Response:  As to managing a Chamber of Commerce, Paula Deel has done poorly.  She has been a failure in boosting the community's businesses which is the fundamental purpose of a Chamber.

    She does get a good grade in operating a Kiwanis-type of operation; but that is subverting the Chamber into something that a Chamber is not.

    Paula starts by mentioning High School scholarships.  While this is nice and good, understand that most of the scholarships are very small amounts.  Perhaps enough to purchase a book or take the family to a restaurant to celebrate the well earned recognition.

    I have already recognized Paula's good ability in organizing social events, but where are the Chamber's core Mission activities?  The Newberry Chamber of Commerce doesn't promote business.  It does social events like the Christmas decoration contest.

    While there is no public evidence that the Newberry Chamber has received any solar money, it seems strange that Daggett has received funding and the solar developer has tracked down a Senior Center representative after the COVID-19 closure.  Yet, the solar developer reportedly missed the obvious Chamber of Commerce.  I believe that if the solar folks did do an arrangement with the Chamber, we would never hear about it.

Deel's Hardware and Feed: Our store not only sold hardware and feed but gave information on the area, found missing relatives, gave encouragement and hugs to those who needed some, gave information on who to call for what and learned a few words of French. It was a hard decision to retire but it was time. We still miss seeing and talking on a daily basis to our customers, friends, and neighbors.

Response:  The Deel's store was a pleasant business in Newberry for many years and was a convenience.

Chino Based Dairies (circa 1990): We did not advocate for the dairies to relocate to Newberry Springs. Paul simply asked a rowdy audience to "let the dairyman speak".

Response:  This was admittedly before my time in Newberry Springs.  Two residents have informed me that the Deels were privately advocating for the dairies.  I believe them over Paula and it is one stated reason why I do not support Paula.

Nursery Products Sludge: We fought the Nursery Products move to Newberry Springs and attended meetings in San Bernardino to protest.

Response:  Paula's statement is true after the obvious tide of ground swell against Nursery Products developed.  But initally, Paula, didn't you have a jar of compost to display the alleged safety of the product?

Billboards: At this point, whether you like or dislike billboards is not the question. San Bernardino County and Caltrans approved them; the courts agreed. Barstow Partners is a private company making donations to non-profits in Newberry Springs. It is their prerogative on how and to whom they do this. They do not have to report to us.

Response:  The history of the billboards in the Silver Valley is loaded with corruption under Bill Postmus and Brad Mitzelfelt.

    Even a Scenic Highway designation was removed on I-15 so that billboards could be placed.  Corruption remains rampant in San Bernardino County government as recently illustrated by the County's approval of the Daggett Solar Power Project against its own Codes.

    There was litigation against the billboards on a narrow element of the legality but the full legality of the billboards has not been litigated.

    The most recent billboard built on Interstate-40 at Ord Street violates federal law under the Lady Bird Johnson Beautification Act.

Newberry Springs Community Plan 2011: Before I was on the CSD Board the CSD asked me to be on the committee to create a community plan. After fulfilling their instructions we turned the plan over to the CSD Board. There was a LOT of turmoil on the board at this time and they never pursued getting the Plan approved.

Response:  Paula stepped forward to handle the plan, which like other projects she appeared eager to be the driver.  The CSD board eventually approved the Community Plan which was then reportedly mailed to the County which did nothing with it.  The CSD waited and nothing understandably happened.

    The failure by Paula was in not working with, and following through with, the County.  You don't just independently prepare a plan and dump it on a County department.

    There should have been a County representative identified and following the plan's development.  Someone who after the plan is approved by the directors, the plan is personally delivered to.

    This is where the Deels also failed in the handling the Desert Trails Promise Zone.

Desert Trails Promise Zone 2016: After working very hard, the committee received word from the San Bernardino County CEO that the County would not support our application. We had no choice as we needed their approval. Paul and I were elected to serve on the committee by those attending the public meeting. At one point our Promise Zone Plan Coordinator's husband banned his wife's participation after Ted's vicious verbal attack on her.

Response:  This was a federal grant application for a 200-mile long corridor that offered an opportunity of acquiring 10 years of special federal assistance.

    The Newberry committee was selected by public vote.  I was selected to be on the committee.  Once the committee was selected, Paul Deel stepped forward and wanted to be the chairman.  This later turned out to be Big Boss Dictator.  Rather than work collaboratively with the committee members, Paul Deel dictated.

    Under Paul Deel, the committee hired a project manager who had no previous experience in preparing a grant application.  This would have been OK if she had been open to committee suggestions, but she wasn't, and Paul and Paula fully supported her.

    Having previously taken multiple college classes in grantmaking, and having recently participated in intensive Annenberg Foundation grantmaking training held in Los Angeles, as a special scholarship recipient from the Annenberg Foundation, I held clear insights that Paul and the project manager lacked.

    Midway through the application process, I recognized that the application was in serious trouble.  Necessary elements had not been performed by the project manager.  There were areas where the application could have been strengthened.  As I was the pointman on the project for Barstow, Needles, Hinkley, and the Chemehuevi Indian Reservation, I didn't want to disappoint these people. 

    When I pointed out the serious problems to Paul Deel, he ignored them.  As chairman, his responsibility was to gather the input from committee members and have them addressed.  Instead, he was very hostle to anything that challenged how the project manager was handling the application.

    Instead of doing his responsibility as chairman, Paul Deel, with the support of Paula, played dictator and allowed the inexperienced project manager to mismanage the application's preparation.

    Recognizing the time element and pending outcome, in support of the communities that I was representing, I began sending numerous e-mails to Paul, the project manager, and other committee members.  These became strong e-mails and not "vicious verbal attacks" as Paula states.  Yes, people did become upset with my growing concern, but it was in an attempt to save the application for many thousands of people.

    Understand the frustration of volunteering days of travel expenses and many, many hours driving back and forth to the Colorado River and meeting with city and tribal officals only to see the work being destroyed by the Deels.

    Paula wants you to simply believe that "the committee received word from the San Bernardino County CEO that the County would not support our application. We had no choice as we needed their approval."

    The fact is that the project manager refused to work early with the County while preparing the application.  The County's CEO was unaware of the application until a few business days before the application's deadline and the application needed the County's approval.

    The CEO's office had some misunderstandings about the application which could have been easily cleared up weeks earlier if the project manager would have worked with the County.

    Just like the Community Plan, the Deels refused to work jointly with the County and another Newberry opportunity went down 'da hole, losing what could have amounted to many millions of dollars and good jobs for Newberry.

    I am so tired of seeing this incompetence in Newberry.

Newberry Springs Economic Development Association NSEDA: Promise Zone spurred us to work together for Newberry Springs. See purpose and info at https://www.nseda.net/. We have just begun.

Response:  My previous blog adequately substantiates the wierd rationale behind NSEDA's Community Farm.

Personal: I listen to both sides of a subject before making a decision. Newberry Springs comes first: never my financial gain. I would like to continue to serve our community as Newberry Community Services District Director.

This dinosaur is not extinct!!!


She has been tone deaf to the residents' solar concerns.
The Neanderthal mismanagement continues.

    Newberry Springs is an economically depressed community.  Economic development opportunities are rare, so when Paula Deel contributes to the loss of rare opportunities, it truly hurts.

    Anyone interested in exploring a possible legal action against the CSD's entities is welcomed to contact us through newberrystrong@mail.com.  If legal action is ever filed, only those participating may receive a benefit.

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