NEWBERRY SPRINGS Seven Newberry Springs residents have filed to run for three seats on the Community Service District board in November's election as of Tuesday afternoon. Candidates have until 5 p.m. Wednesday to file.

The initial candidacy filing period for the Nov. 3 election was Friday, but because incumbent Sandra Brittian, Newberry Springs CSD board president, decided not to seek re-election, according to California elections code law, the filing period was extended another five days.

Linda DeLuca, a candidate who is running for a spot on the CSD board along with her boyfriend, Wayne Snively, said many people are running at the same time because they have aligned feelings on the things that need to be corrected. If one person ran, and won, that one vote wouldn't be as influential, she said.

Candidate Robert Vasseur, who served on the Newberry Springs CSD board for two years before resigning three years ago and maintains the Newberry Springs Senior Service Association Web site, said his decision to run stems from a dispute between the CSD and the senior association over $20,000 the seniors requested from the board to pay for repairs and overdue bills at the Newberry Springs Senior Center. The money was to come out of a fund set up by the Kiewet Pacific Company that was to be used to benefit the community.

Initially the contract the CSD presented the seniors with offered half of what they requested in exchange for monthly community events hosted by the seniors. After the seniors and CSD board met in June, the contract was renegotiated and the seniors' original request for $20,000 was granted, though the CSD would be responsible for paying the expenses.

Vasseur said he and many of the other candidates are running for election because the current CSD board didn't support the seniors' restaurant, which they felt was a for-profit business even though it was losing money. If elected to the board, Vasseur said he would want to investigate the releasing of funds to help the restaurant.

"The seniors still need serious help," he said "There are a number of other issues involved besides the seniors here, (but) it's probably the catalyst for all of us running as candidates."

Brittian said the CSD did support the senior association, but they couldn't just give them money that belongs to the taxpayers. The CSD has jurisdiction over street lighting, parks and recreation, fire protection and mosquito abatement, Brittian said. There was no way the CSD could give them money other than under its parks and recreation purview, Brittian said. She added this is why the seniors provide their monthly movie nights.
With an 84-year-old father, candidate Linda Harper said she would like the CSD board to work as a team with other agencies, including the seniors.

"The senior center is very important," she said. "I feel now is the time for me to be able to offer what I can for the betterment of the community."

One of the other issues DeLuca is concerned about, other than the seniors, is building more parks for the community. There are several private corporations, she said, who want to develop some of the land in the Newberry Springs area for solar energy projects.

"We have two entities that we know of that are buying vacant land," she said. "And they want to put up a mini solar plant. If we don't claim the land, (there's) the potential that Newberry Springs may be one big solar wind-tunnel plant."

Incumbent Kathleen Ridler has only attended one meeting since she was appointed to the board July 2. One of the reasons she sought appointment to the board is because she wanted to find out what the community wanted from their CSD board.

"I'm hoping I would have the ability to hear what the community is needing and try to see what the CSD can and can't do to help the community," she said.

Incumbent Diana Williams and candidate Robert Seeley couldn't be reached by press time.

Contact the writer:
(760) 256-4123 or jcejnar@desertdispatch.com

Who's running:
Linda DeLuca
Linda Harper
Kathy S. Ridler *
Robert Seeley
Wayne L. Snively
Robert Vasseur
Diana H. Williams *
Source: San Bernardino County Registrar of Voters Office
* incumbents