No healthy skepticism (August 29, 2015)

Pat Orr has taken a jab at those who have been critical of Assistant Town Manager Dennis Cron (No empire building, Apple Valley Review, August 26, 2015). Orr’s main point seems to be that because Cron is retiring in December, he therefore could not possibly have pursued the hostile takeover of Apple Valley Ranchos Water Company as part of an attempt at personal empire building.

Unfortunately, Orr fails to provide any context, which allows him to set up his straw man argument in the first place.

How could Orr possibly have missed the fact that it was the Town of Apple Valley that put forth Cron as their water expert time and again? Before the April 28th meeting where the Town solemnly informed everyone that Cron had 40 years of experience in running a water utility, Cron could have been a troll living under the Mojave Narrows bridge for all most of us knew. Suddenly, he’s being put forth as an expert, albeit one with little apparent expertise.

So now we’re told that Cron will be gone by the time the Town acquires a water system, and Orr doesn’t find that disconcerting? If Cron’s credentials were the hook on which the Town was hanging its takeover hat, Cron’s departure makes it all the more clear that the Town’s actions are not about the water, but about the money they hope to get from seizing Ranchos.

It’s also disturbing that Orr didn’t see that Cron is retiring at about the same time as the Town Council will be voting to proceed with the takeover of Ranchos. The Town is already considering having some third party run the water system for them. Who better, from the Town’s point of view, that recently-retired Dennis Cron, their favorite feckless water expert?

Orr is welcome to his opinion, of course, but it’s always distressing when any member of the Fourth Estate slavishly defends those in the power structure. The Town has its own PR department. What we need is more healthy skepticism.

Greg Raven is Co-Chair of Apple Valley Citizens for Government Accountability, and is concerned about quality of life issues.

Published: Apple Valley Review,