Two members of the Yucca Valley Town Council have shown their true colors in how they want to play political games – using deception in order to advance political and personal agendas.
Last year we published a letter to the editor discussing how Frank Luckino (then mayor and now Yucca Valley town council member) was hired by the Hi-Desert Water District as Chief Financial Officer. The letter addressed Luckino’s rich executive pay (over $120,000 annually) and the conflict of serving two masters – the water district and the town council.
Although legal, because Luckino is employed by and not elected to serve the water district, the letter writer was simply expressing a public discussion of which another letter was already published in a different Yucca Valley newspaper (no relation to our publications.)
We received only one complaint from this matter. Isaac Hagerman (recently elected to the Yucca Valley Town Council) chose not to write his opposition in the “normal” sense… in a letter to the editor. That is not his style. Neither did he telephone our office to voice his criticism. Instead, Hagerman contacted our advertisers telling them to stop advertising in our newspaper.
When Hagerman began his cowardly quest our publisher telephoned Hagerman inquiring why the attack against free speech. Hagerman said his intentions were to ruin our business.
This year Hagerman won election to the town council with a twisted last-minute smear against incumbent Lauri Herbel published in that Yucca Valley newspaper. Misleading and inaccurate, the timing was calculated for publication only a few days before the election, leaving Herbel no chance to respond. Such gutless political ploys are successful techniques in elections guaranteeing the accuser an upper-hand against an opponent who becomes an easy-victim immobilized by the sucker punch.
The latest round of public slight of hand deception is another attack against the truth by Hagerman’s pal Frank Luckino. Serving as a kind-of mastermind for high desert politics, as if controlling the town council and the water district is not enough, Luckino also is running a mortgage business.
Apparently Luckino runs a Mulhuland-like tangled web of powerful relationships involving select land developers and construction companies, realtors and bankers, the water district and the council with a plotline – with some slight changes – right out of the movie “Chinatown” involving the big money of massive water and sewer projects.
In the latest brouhaha of self-pitying manufactured spin Luckino complained to the Yucca Valley’s Hi-Desert Star newspaper (no relation to our publications) that his wife, Shannon, was unfairly “attacked” with that newspaper publishing Frank’s own written words concerning his wife… “She is not a politician; she is a mother, wife, caretaker, volunteer, and friend.”
Well-said and generous, but also misleading as Shannon is no simple housewife.
Readers of that publication venomously complained, writing in that Frank was intentionally misleading the public by conveniently leaving out the fact his wife worked as Hagerman’s campaign manager in that recent town council election and she runs – and has family – in the real estate business. Oh what a tangled web they weave.
We find it repugnant that Mortgage Broker, CFO, Councilmember Luckino calls factual statements “poison pen attacks” and cries foul every time his authority is questioned or one of his secrets is revealed.
We believe the namesake of the Lincoln Club in Yucca Valley, an organization of which Luckino was a founding member, would be embarrassed by these attacks against our constitution freedoms and the unfair, intolerant and unChristian ethics employed by Luckino’s pal, Hagerman. We have to remember that simply using the name “Lincoln” does not insure good American ethics.
And what is that tangled web all about? Only a $250 million dollar sewer system concerning who gets the construction contracts, who benefits first and foremost and – the multi-million dollar question that Luckino and Hagerman are concocting answer for – just who is going to pay for it.
So, when you get right down to the scamming scheming nitty-gritty, it’s less about ethics and it’s all about money. They may use smoke and mirrors to divert the public’s attention but that doesn’t mean we have to like it or pretend it’s not happening.