Personal attacks? (September 17, 2016)

So Apple Valley Town Manager Frank Robinson thinks looking into Assistant Town Manager Marc Puckett’s work history is a personal and mean-spirited attack (Apple Valley’s head of finance comes under fire, Daily Press, September 14, 2016)? Let’s compare some real personal attacks.

How about calling a prominent member of our community a liar in a Town Council meeting because he said something that Town Council members had themselves repeatedly said publicly? That would be something Marc Puckett did.

How about creating an an enemies list of those who oppose the Town’s error-filled financial reports, flawed policies, and secret agendas? That would be something Marc Puckett did.

How about falsely accusing those who oppose the Town’s hostile takeover of our water company of being surrogates of Liberty Utilities in a public presentation to the Town Council? (One can only imagine what he must say in private!) That would be something Marc Puckett did.

As Police Squad’s Frank Drebin might say, three other cities ran Mr. Puckett outta town like a common pygmy after figuring out what he had done to their finances. Just because Mr. Robinson seems to have been the one most responsible for the hiring of Mr. Puckett doesn’t mean that the public doesn’t have the right to know.

It also doesn’t give Mr. Robinson ($340,182 annual compensation ) or Mr. Puckett ($314,109 annual compensation ) the right to engage in personal attacks against the persons they were hired to serve, especially not in a town with an estimated per capita income of less than $25,000, in a state where the governor’s salary is just over $190,000.

If Mr. Robinson doesn’t want the public checking up on him and his staff, then we need to get new Town Council members who will hire someone more accountable and transparent.

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