Thursday, July 25, 2019

Green Reports Again on Water District as Disgraced Chief


San Angelo Live's Yantis Green wrote:

Lake water from the Twin Buttes reservoir is flowing through Lake Nasworthy and down the irrigation canal to thirsty cotton fields near Veribest for the first time in about ten years. 
Green did not cite a source or quote anyone in his article.  Ten years ago Yantis Green was District Manager for the owner of the irrigation canal, the Tom Green County Irrigation and Water Control District #1.  He and City Water Chief Will Wilde collaborated to push Twin Buttes water through the canal in 2009.

Will Wilde happened to own a 300 acre cotton farm near the head of the irrigation canal.  In 2012 Yantis Green admitted embezzling $63,000 in public funds from the Water Control District.  Months later Wilde resigned from a firestorm of controversies, the biggest being the unauthorized purchase of over $100,000 in Water Department furniture. 

Green reported to prison on March 1, 2013.  San Angelo Live started in September 2013 six months after Yantis began serving time.

"There's a whole host of consequences for being a convicted felon."
There aren't any consequences for failing to disclose Yantis served as subject matter expert, author and photographer for his piece.


One can even be promoted to Editor-in-Chief.  I'm not sure how Yantis will coach Yantis on proper disclosure. 

Tuesday, July 02, 2019

City Media Enforcer to Head Small Town in Maine


Widowed State Representative Dennis Keschel resigned as Belgrade, Maine's Town Manager for personal reasons, as did town Treasurer Melanie Alexander.  The pair resigned in tandem which raises the question:  What happened that both town leaders resigned for personal reasons nearly simultaneously?  Were their decisions related?

Belgrade revealed nothing while searching for replacements.  Riding in from West Texas to rescue Belgrade is new Town Manager Anthony Wilson.  Wilson will not only run the town but decide which citizens get access to available public support.


Wilson left a city of 100,000 people and a Public Information budget of $458,000 for a town of 3,200 with a town budget of over $7 million.   The City of San Angelo started 2018-2019 budget with $21 million in general fund balance (cash reserves), three times Belgrade's budget for the whole town.

Wilson took his job as the San Angelo's media enforcer seriously.  He called one day to inform me a quote I used from him "was inartful on his part."  That came after minutes of Anthony vigorously sharing his displeasure over something I'd written.  I expect his anger stemmed from revealing Anthony recommended "arming every 10-year-old boy in San Angelo with a BB guns and license to kill" to deal with the city's community cat problem (just kidding, of course).

Small town in Maine with frequent turnover in the town manager position and no annual town report the last two years.  Add a Texas sized hyper-competitive personality and things could quickly get cold and dark, like a brutal New England winter.  It sounds like the premise for a Stephen King novel.

Update 7-4-19:  San Angelo Live did a story on Anthony's leaving.   City Manager Daniel Valenzuela praised Wilson for building "a structure and a culture that ensures our citizens can remain plugged into their local government."  I don't see how not recording and televising numerous citizen boards fits into Valenzuela's compliment.  It's hard to stay plugged in when there is nothing to watch.

Update 7-12-19:  Central Maine.com reported on Wilson's hiring.  He plans to move his family to Belgrade, although one child is a rising high school senior.  Many family's would let that child graduate before moving across the country.  Time will reveal how this "likeable guy" fulfills his promises to Belgrade.

Update 7-21-19:   Wilson was sworn in as Town Manager last week.  The town's first order of business was a tax increase.  Wilson's contract was approved by a 5-1 vote.