Amid a hotly contested battle for control of the West Valley Water District’s Board of Directors, the only way to describe the recent political faux pas of current board director Greg Young who is seeking re-election, is—it was an unwarranted and unnecessary self-inflicted political wound.
To manipulate an official WVWD photo by replacing the image of a fellow board member and current Vice President Kyle Crowther—who is also seeking re-election—with an image of an unidentified Hispanic male pulled from the internet, and then using that image in a campaign brochure was clearly a petty action unworthy of an elected representative.
Some might even consider it a sloppy and racist attempt to try to pander to members of the Hispanic community. Maybe Greg considered it a kind of a “twofer” so to speak—insult a fellow board member you consider a nemesis while simultaneously attempting to appeal to Hispanic voters. It appears he failed on both counts.
Those who have followed the sage of the water board’s directors including their alignments and contentious relationships, are probably not surprised by this action especially considering Greg Young was ousted as vice president by fellow board members and replaced by Crowther in that role.
Greg Young was replaced as vice president in October 2018 at the same time the board voted to remove Clifford Young from his role as board president. Greg and Clifford Young were then and continue to remain closely aligned.
Since that time, Clifford Young who earned the reputation of a bully as a result of his actions as board president and since, as well as his side-kick Greg Young appear to have lost their professional footing. Greg’s manipulation of a photo to slight Crowther is just another example of such floundering.
Greg is fighting to hold on to his board seat for a second term. He represents District 5 which includes parts of Rialto and much of the unincorporated area of Bloomington and the campaign document which features the doctored photo were distributed to voters in his district.
Although Greg offered one reporter a plethora of reasons regarding why he cut Crowther out of the photo that ranged from his not wanting to be associated with someone under investigation by the state Controller’s Office—although my understanding is the controller is auditing the administration of the agency in general—to the ongoing conflicts between fellow board members to the never-ending scandals that continue to roil the district.
Whatever his reasons, the action is certain to give voters pause about his maturity and whether they want to return a man to the water board who appears petty, vindictive and unwilling to work with those he needs to in the best interests of the ratepayers.
These concerns are further exacerbated when you consider his use of the photo for political purposes. When I asked WVWD Public Affairs Manager Naseem Farooqi to comment on this issue he said, “West Valley Water District did not authorize and would never authorize the use of District photos for any political campaign materials.”
Adding, “The District has a strict policy prohibiting any use of district resources for personal gain, such as in this instance a political campaign. The District does not support, nor does it authorize any of its employees or Board of Directors to flagrantly distort and/or misrepresent any of its events, policies, or practices to the public in any shape, fashion and/or manner whatsoever.” Of course, this includes the doctoring of a district photo by Greg Young.
The original photo was taken at an event in October 2018 where Crowther and Greg Young presented an enlarged copy of a rebate check to representatives of the Colton Joint Unified School District.
The malignant relationships between members of the West Valley Water District Board of Directors should not only be concerning to the water agency’s ratepayers but to everyone in the region as similar malignancies are experienced to varying degrees in agencies across the inland region.
Whether it involves city council members, mayors, police agencies, etc. there seems to be no end to the unscrupulous deception some elected and appointed officials will use to secure and maintain power and control, often spending more energy on deception and catering to funders and securing political alliances than ensuring quality service to those they are elected to represent.
The question ratepayers in the West Valley’s 5th District must ask themselves is: How can this candidate and current board member—Greg Young—serve my best interest as a ratepayer when he is so immature, he can’t even bear to be seen in a photo with a fellow board member he needs to work with to make critical water related decisions on behalf of himself, his family and his community?
I encourage voters not to support a candidate just because his name is familiar when his actions are less than honorable and violate the policy of the agency he serves. I encourage you, before you cast a ballot in this election, to do your homework and consider another candidate.
Of course, this is just my opinion. I’m keeping it real.