By Miguel Gonzalez
(Apple Valley)–Scott Weldy’s sudden passing last week left an empty void in the High Desert that will never be filled. The Apple Valley Ranchos General Manager and Community Leader was widely considered a staple of the High Desert and statesman for issues impacting the Victor Valley.
His legacy is undeniable and the many that knew him well understood that leadership and service to others embraced the cornerstone of his character. “The first thing I will always remember about Scott is that he was just a “good guy.” The type of guy everyone would want as a friend, colleague, co-worker or boss. He had the special gift of empathy. He made everyone feel comfortable and “understood” even when his positions differed from others,” explained Kirby Brill, General Manager of Mojave Water Agency, where Weldy served as President of the Board until his resignation in 2004.
An Apple Valley native, a family man, a leader, a friend, a husband, a father, Weldy carried these titles proudly and excelled with ease. Those who knew him best explain that the responsibility of leadership helped him grow and settle into his role of statesman that he will be remembered for. “Scott Weldy was a super gentleman and an outstanding citizen of this valley. He was a wonderful leader as a former President of the Mojave Water Agency Board of Directors and as Chairman of the MWA Technical Advisory Committee (TAC). I can’t imagine the TAC without him. I have lost a dear friend,” said current MWA President Beverly Lowry.
Weldy, 56, also served as President of the Rotary Club of Apple Valley and in that capacity he identified with the organization’s mission of “Service Above Self” by creating opportunities for other without ever expecting anything back. “The Rotary Club of Apple Valley is reeling from the loss of our president. In every club project he was there leading by example,” said Rotary spokeswoman Kathie Martin.
Nelson Mandela once explained that a great leader is the person who is able to bring stakeholders of different backgrounds to the table to discuss issue affecting the community. Brill remembered that Weldy’s leadership skills shined the most during times of difficulty and struggle between community members. “During that time, I was blessed to have the opportunity to work side by side with Scott during some very challenging times where I learned the true character of the man and witnessed his unique and remarkable leadership abilities. Many of the Agency’s later accomplishments can be directly attributed to his leadership during those years. Subsequently, I saw him continue to grow as he served as the Chairman of the Technical Advisory Committee to the Mojave Water Agency where he led a group of highly diverse community stakeholders toward a unified vision to address our regional water supply challenges,” Brill said.
With a heavy heart, Apple Valley Ranchos Water Assistant General Manager Tony Penna said the company will carry on Weldy’s philosophy of educating the consumer. “Scott certainly understood the role of water conservation, particularly landscaping, as a subset of sustainability. Given his role in Rotary he must have embraced helping others and having a servant mindset,” Penna said. “He was loved and admired by his staff and his sudden departure is something that will take a long time to heal. We will honor his memory by continuing his work,” Penna added.
Leading by example was Weldy’s virtue and something his only son Alex, 25, learned from him at a very early age. “I am proud that he was an integral part of the community. His civic-minded approach to life set a great example of what a community leader should be.”
Alex Weldy said he would like everyone to remember his father by the motto of “Service above self” he lived by. “He taught me to be open-minded and patient. Approach everything with a critical eye,” Alex Weldy said.
Weldy loved civic engagement, science, grilling, rock hounding and of course his family, but it was Brill who perhaps best described Weldy’s style:
“I don’t believe Scott ever set out to become a leader, but in my mind he became a “Master” through his service and his deeds. An excerpt from ancient Chinese philosophy summarizes Scott’s leadership style.”
When the Master governs, the people
are hardly aware that he exists.
Next best is a leader who is loved.
Next, one who is feared.
The worst is one who is despised.
If you don’t trust people,
you make them untrustworthy.
The Master speaks little.
He never speaks carelessly.
He works without self-interest
and leaves no trace.
When the work is done,
the people say: “Amazing:
we did it, all by ourselves.”