Buyer’s remorse (November 28, 2018)

Pat Orr’s tries to spin mismanagement by the Town Council to make our disastrous situation sound like a great thing but comes off sounding more like a remorseful buyer (Briefs of the Liberty water battle, Apple Valley Review, November 27, 2018).

First, he mislabels the jihad against Liberty by the Town as being about water. It’s not about water now and it never was: It’s about money, which the Town desperately needs due to the aforementioned mismanagement.

Next, he tries to laud the Town’s law firm, BB&K, even though they have proven horrendously expensive and abjectly ineffective, just as they were when they represented the City of Bell under Robert Rizzo’s tenure there. He fails to mention that aspect, though, and he even mistakenly says that John Brown is the Town attorney and not Thomas Rice.

Third, the take trial to which Orr refers turned out poorly for the Town’s hoped-for seizure, despite his unsupported assurances that Liberty’s position is weak. As for Liberty’s reasons for delaying the trial as long as possible, why shouldn’t they, when the Town is forced to depend on payday loans to keep the doors open? The easiest way to survive a fight is to avoid it altogether.

Fourth, he mentions that Liberty has allowed the Town to use recycled water (despite a longstanding agreement from the Town that established Liberty as our purveyor of recycled water), but he forgets to mention that this is just one of a long line of generous community-oriented moves by Liberty, including helping the MWA with its expensive and unnecessary well (thanks, Art Bishop!), developing a water system for the North Apple Valley Industrial Specific Plan (rejected by the Town), assuming ownership of the Town’s previous water system after the Town nearly went broke with it, not pressing charges for the Town’s equipment destruction and water theft at Liberty’s golf course well, heavy discounts on water for the Town’s parks, and so on.

As for the recent election being a mandate of the people, the total number of votes cast as of today for the three open council positions was 57,433. Nassif, the top incumbent, received fewer than 9,000 of those votes. In fact, the two incumbents plus Kari Leon received a total of 23,311 votes in favor, with 34,122 opposed.

What’s any of this have to do with buyer’s remorse? Orr neglects to mention that he provided thousands of dollars of financial backing to the three winners, a massive conflict of interest for someone in his position. Whatever ills befall the Town over the next few years, Orr owns a piece of them.

Greg Raven and Diana Carloni
Citizens for Government Accountability