Newberry CSD Has Been
Diverting Funds From Kids

Feeding Time
Senior association ready to feed a third time on public funds.

High Desert is filled with fools.
A wise man knows when he is foolish; a true fool will not acknowledge it.

Newberry Springs Community Alliance
•   Editorial   •
January 10, 2013


      In reference to an inquiry of the Barstow Police Department, a prospective employee from San Diego asked an online cop blog:  "Hello, I am in the [application] process for the Barstow Police Department.  I am out of town and I am interested if anyone has any insight to the department.  I will do a "ride along" in the near future.  Any info please."   —   A response was later posted:  "From San Diego to Barstow???  You may not pass the psych for that reason alone!"

      In 2011, Jay Leno stated on national TV that:  "The economy is so bad in Barstow, sign spinners are in front of meth labs."

      Or, as one outsider viewed:  "I live in Bakersfield, California.  At least it's not Barstow, a city that owes its existence to the fact that people traveling to Las Vegas needed a place to stop and take a sh*t.  There was a toilet and they built a city around it."  (Quote from RobShock)

      Barstow has suffered the slings and arrows of being a national joke for many years; especially during the reign of Johnny Carson.

      Carson would occasionally quip in his stand-up monologue, and sometimes while chatting with Ed McMahon, that Daggett is the "Gateway to Barstow."

      Well, Carson stopped short in dropping down the food chain and belittling Newberry Springs as being the Gateway to Daggett.   There isn't even enough in the eastern suburb of Newberry Springs to make a joke of it.

A broken place.

      The reality is that Newberry Springs is a place where dreams come to die; and of substandard living below that of nationally ridiculed Barstow.  Newberry Springs is a place where children grow-up and despirately want to move away.

      On the plus side, Newberry Springs does benefit from being a rural satellite community of a good school system; it has good churches; some good people; and a few marginal self-serving organizations.  The most notable of late being the mismanaged and failing seniors association.

Newberry Springs Senior Service Association

      The seniors is a declining organization that has seen its membership and fundraising activities drop.  What happened to the profitable car shows, pancake breakfasts and other fundraising activities?  One answer may lie in some volunteers having been driven-off by what some see as an egotistical, overly-controlling and micro-managing management that lacks broad interpersonal skills and the comradery of true collaboration with volunteer staff.

      This is the senior association whose management angered the majority of property owners in Newberry Springs by throwing the association's weight and endorsement behind the proposed erection of property devaluing and job inhibiting, unsightly billboards.

      Blindly selling-out the community for another pie-in-the-sky scheme by a billboard promoter's promises of bribe money, the senior association foolishly failed to take a non-partisan, and a higher moral road, to protect the community.  Now the senior association expects the community, that it angered, to further support its continued mismanagement.

Billboards: More broken promises.

      To date, of fourteen proposed billboard stands to be built in the valley, only three have been erected and they may be ordered removed as costly litigation against the billboards draw to a dishearted conclusion for the billboard promoters; and regulators are reviewing the earlier granting of the billboard permits that appear to have been improperly issued.

      The false and grandiose monetary promises by the pied piper billboard promoter Spike Lynch are not expected to be realized.  The disgraced Newberry Springs community organizations, such as the Newberry CSD, the Chamber of Commerce, the Newberry Springs property owners association, the seniors' association, and the bamboozled others who sold-out in endorsing the billboards are now beginning to realize the sting, and the public shame, of the foolishness that soils them and their scant creditability.

Newberry is unglued.

      From a civic standpoint, Newberry Springs lacks in being a cohesive community.  Its sparse and largely unsophisticated population is not collective; and it is filled with a civic vacuum of apathy.  This was demonstrated in the last CSD election when Calvin Owens ran unopposed.

      Hope was earlier raised with the election of Robert Seeley to the CSD board as he initially demonstrated some positive business-like ideology.  Unfortunately, Seeley lacked the skills and savvy to gain a community consensus.

      He did muster a CSD board majority in forming a voting block that was successful in ramming through projects like the highly biased and controversial Newberry Springs Community Plan that was improperly prepared without a true community consensus and that is probably destined to rot unprocessed in a county archive.

      He also pushed proposed revisions in the Newberry CSD's Bylaws to grab more power for the CSD board that he controlled.  After what appears as the near decimation of the community's fire department, the Seeley regime also put forth a Bylaw revision that would allow the board to remove any personnel solely at their will.

      Without the board having a need to show any cause for a dismissal, why would anyone want to volunteer and invest one's time and money for training with the community's fire department under such a tyrannical board power?  With such leadership, there is little wonder why the fire department has declined and is now so seriously understaffed that we must depend upon emergency mutual aid from other communities.

      Volunteers and CSD employees work for the community; not at the flimsy, arbitrary and capricious will of a few board members.  These employees and volunteers should not have their performance chilled nor their records tarnished by another person's personal or political agenda.  Any job removal should be based solely upon a meritorious cause; not whim.  Our Newberry Springs' workers deserve better.

Baker, California has a large community pool.
Such fun is not meant for Newberry Springs' youth.

Newberry Springs is a wasteland for its youth.

      Thanks in large part to the lack of vision and a lack of professionalism of one CSD board of directors after another, the Newberry CSD has been foolishly shortchanging its most valuable asset... the community's youth.  It is long past time that corrective measures be taken.

      The Kiewit Pacific trust funds that were given to the community eight (8) years ago were given TO THE COMMUNITY; not for the CSD's reserve fund for general expenditures.  After the CSD commissioned a survey and determined how the community wanted the funds dispersed, the CSD has held a moral duty, if not a legal fiduciary duty as trustee, to disperse the funds as the community had mandated.

      Instead, the CSD boards have held onto the funds for control and for their pet projects.

      A major portion of the Kiewit Pacific trust funds could have been leveraged with various federal grants to build a large multi-purpose recreational indoor facility.  Instead, the CSD has mismanaged and diverted the bulk of the funds to supplement its general expenditures; without seeking critical federal and state matching funds where the money could have been multiplied many times for a greatly increased benefit to the community.

From report dated May 7, 2012.   (Click box for source.)
How are trust funds that should never be comingled with other funds placed into the CSD's reserve account ?

      What is shocking is that the CSD has taken the Kiewit Pacific funds, a trust fund as illustrated in the earlier December 14, 2012 editorial, and has classified and comingled the funds into the CSD's reserve fund instead of a special and separate trust fund; and the CSD has repeatedly raided the trust monies as a rainy day fund for principally the fire department.

      As substantiated in the earlier referenced editorial, the fire department, the community center improvements, and the senior center support were NOT the community's mandate as to how the funds are to be used, in which the CSD as trustee holds a fiduciary duty to the community (the beneficiary) to follow.  The CSD appears to have openly breached this legal responsibility; and as the breach appears to be clearly fiduciary in nature, substantial punitive damages might be awarded should a citizen take the matter to court.

      The CSD has squandered most of the precious funds by not seeking matching funds for them, that can be four or more times (4x +++) the amount of the trust funds.  If the funds were properly used years ago, Newberry Springs could now have a two-million dollar multi-purpose recreational center that all segments of the community could benefit from. 

      Such a center would help increase property values of the community and serve multiple purposes; including the enticement of new businesses and jobs.  The community has lacked basic infrastructure to attract growth.  The Newberry CSD's continuing failure to properly act represents a continuation of growing damages to the citizens and property owners.

Has Newberry Springs received its money's worth?

      Of side interest is the senior association's last contract (919KB PDF) with the CSD.  The first bailout contract for the seniors' resuscitation was for $13,000 (2006); the second was for $20,000 (2009); yet these numbers don't add up to the above charted $30,000.

      The funds have been terribly mismanaged and according to a CSD Financial Review of 2007 For Newberry Springs Senior Center, (273KB PDF) a document recently acquired by the Community Alliance, the senior association has possibly had a theft problem with funds.  So part of the PUBLIC TRUST bailout funds may have gone to replace stolen funds that were not traceable due to the seniors' incompetent bookkeeping.

      Why was the CSD paying for the senior center's roof repairs, plumbing repairs, and insurance?  These kinds of expenditures are considered general operational expenses and they are deemed improper under the law to be paid by the CSD whether they are snuck into a sham contract or not.

      The senior association's center is PRIVATE PROPERTYIt is not proper for a public entity, such as the Newberry CSD, to make monetary gifts of public funds to cover capital improvements and general operationing expenses to enrich a private entity, such as the private seniors' corporation.  This money was further given without bid, and without an outline of specific performances to be done in exchange for the public funds; which appears illegal de jure and warrants that the funds should be promptly returned to the trust by the CSD trustee.

      An incredibly damning expenditure list (113KB PDF) of the original 2006 grant, acquired by the Newberry Springs Community Alliance, shows the funds being directly applied almost entirely to operational expenses and the senior association's capital improvements; with little being directly spent on programs to benefit the community.

Chronic beggars.

      After the 2006 money began to run out, the seniors in 2008 immediately began asking for their second bailout.  Despite the association receiving a second bailout, it continues today in need of constant Intensive Care tranfusions as it lies in critical condition with a weakening ticker.  In time, a full cardiac arrest appears inevitable.

      The CSD board appears as good-ole-boys (and gals) indulging in political graft to benefit their friends (and some, themselves as members of the senior association).  You can ask the earlier board members who voted on the 2006 gift, why they started this?

From CSD minutes of October 24, 2006 on the first contract.

True cost?

      Also, with the senior association's current (2012) request for $24,000, what would be the total price to the community?  According to a Disbursement Log acquired by the Community Alliance, the CSD, on the second senior's contract (2009), paid an attorney an additional $4,500 to write an 8-page boiler-plate contract !   That's 22.5% more than allocated for the $20,000 contract !

      The senior association's current request is on hold while the CSD tries to find an attorney to review the matter.  Questions arise as to whether the legal review of the previous contracts involved full disclosure to the attorney as to the source of the funds and the community's (beneficiary's) direction for the disbursement for it.

      For the $24,500 in costs (2009), did the Newberry Springs citizens receive a justified benefit?  There doesn't appear to have been any serious CSD monitoring of these trust funds; and the community of Newberry Springs does appear to have been highly victimized by the waste and the failure of the funds not having been matched with federal and state funds.

      Remember, the CSD as trustee of the Kiewit Pacific funds, holds a fiduciary duty to see that the funds are utilized to their "Highest and Best Use."   It appears obvious that funds have been recklessly squandered and shoveled into the seniors' deep terminal abyss as the seniors' have repeatedly come back for more and more life support.

Just what benefits has Newberry received for the thousands of dollars?

      After the fact, the Newberry Springs Senior Service Association has presented a list of events from July 2009 through September 2011 that lists 71 events that the senior association claims that it performed for the community.  The list dominantly contains little or no cost activities such as scrapbooking classes, movie nights, and a few exercise classes.  Nothing to justify tens of thousands of $$$.

      Activities, such as a car show, is a fundraiser.  The bulk of the activities are senior related, not beneficial to the community as a whole; unless one justifies keeping a few hardened seniors active and off-the-streets.  Furthermore, no attendence numbers have ever been given to substantiate how many citizens actually bothered to attend the now over hyped past events.

      Note: The Newberry Springs Senior Service Association's Bylaws require that the senior association serve the "surrounding communities."  Why then is the Newberry CSD funding service for these other communities that do not support the Newberry senior association?

      A major key factor is that the senior association has failed in its necessity to substantiate that the trust funds that it has accepted have been properly used for direct "Public Benefit."  All records received to date show that the vast majority of the funds have been improperly spent on enriching and embellishing the senior association's "private interests" by improving the association's fixed real estate, paying off past debts, and subsidizing its general operational expenses.  It is understandable why the 501(c)(3) association has not been transparent and has been hiding its financial records from the public.

      The senior association has found a foolish and perverted sugar daddy in cozying-up with the Newberry CSD that has been well aware of the giveaway scheme and the antics of the fundings' useage.


      The trust funds that the senior association have received are far, far in excess of the costs of the one monthly public service that the senior association has provided under the contract.  The "Public Benefit" benchmark for the funds have never been met; and by the structure of the contracts, apparently they were never meant to be anything other than a direct giveaway of public trust funds to keep the imploding senior association afloat.

      The Newberry CSD, as trustee of the funds given, has failed to be resourceful in its duty of oversight and by leading contracts that encourages the misuse of the trust funds.  Both entities have acted irresponsibly and are responsible for repayment of the funds to the trust.

      The greatest victims of this political abuse are the youth of Newberry Springs.  Hopefully, their plight will soon be addressed.

      The future of Newberry Springs is dependent upon the people of Newberry.  Good intentions alone are not enough.