Leaders and followers (March 12, 2017)

Mayor Scott Nassif has taken to the public forum to assure everyone that Apple Valley is just fine financially, and that opponents are led by […] Liberty Utilities.

To support his claims of financial solvency, he trots out the mighty Marc Puckett, who has received gold stars for his accounting. I’ll bet those gold stars are cold comfort for Assistant Town Manager Puckett’s previous victims in Flint, MI, Costa Mesa, CA, and elsewhere. And Nassif fails to explain how the award-winning Marc Puckett wins those awards while making so many errors that some concerned citizens use his financial reports to play a kind of drinking game.

Then there is the aspect about being led by Liberty Utilities.

Let’s say for the sake of argument that this is correct — perhaps in some alternative reality where Liberty Utilities does this kind of thing. In that parallel universe, what Mayor Nassif is actually saying is that while the Town should be free to attack any business in town — even well-run ones that are older than the Town itself — neither Liberty Utilities nor any other victim of the Town’s attention should dare to defend itself. This, friends, is a demagogue in action.

But now back to reality. I’ve submitted a public records request for any and all documentation to support Mayor Nassif’s contention that I and others are led by Liberty Utilities, but unless the Town is willing to create phony documents out of whole cloth, I know what the results will be because Liberty Utilities is most certainly not leading me.

But … as they say … a skunk smells its own hole first. So we have to ask, Who is really leading things at Town Hall?

Let’s take a look at one example that has come to light. Back in 2015, the Daily Press was kind enough to print one of my letters to the editor. The appearance of this letter apparently put the cat amongst the pigeons because behind the scenes at Town Hall, it was all hands on deck to come up with a response.

Once someone came up with a response (I suspect it was someone working for the Town’s attorney, BB&K), they realized they needed someone who wasn’t an attorney to sign his name to it. They toyed with a couple names, but for the sake of expediency, they had it signed by none other than Scott Nassif!

Given the Town’s commitment to obscuring the facts, we may never learn who came up with the idea of a hostile takeover of the oldest (and possibly best-run) business in town. But while we’re waiting for Godot we can at least say with certainty that spokesmen for the Town never consciously tell us the truth about anything that matters.

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

Published in part: Daily Press, April 3, 2017