CPUC protection (July 21, 2015)

I don’t understand David Christman’s position (Daily Press, Letters, July 18, 2015) regarding the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and Apple Valley Ranchos Water Company (AVRWC). If he looks at the history of AVRWC’s requests to the CPUC, I think he’ll find that the CPUC rarely gives Ranchos everything it wants.

In offering discounted water rates to the Town of Apple Valley (TOAV), AVRWC was trying to be a good partner for the Town. The Town repaid these kindnesses by spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in attacks on Ranchos. It’s the Town that has brought on this totally unnecessary fight. Does Christman expect AVRWC not to defend itself? If the costs of AVRWC’s defense are so egregious in Christman’s eyes, then he owes it to everyone to join in telling the Town to stop its jihad.

As for AVRWC being for sale, there is nothing disingenuous about it. If you put your house on the market and someone says they want to buy just the kitchen, you’d think they were insane. Well, that’s what the TOAV’s offer for AVRWC amounted to, but now with Ranchos’ purchase of the Yermo water utility, the Town is in effect saying it still wants to buy the whole kitchen — except for the parts it doesn’t want. Huh?

Christman seems to think that the CPUC and Office of Ratepayer Associates (ORA) are biased toward protecting AVRWC. Yet, the CPUC and ORA were set up to protect us from the whims of utility providers such as Ranchos. Christman’s alternative is even worse: Put the Town in charge of both rate increase requests and rate increase approvals, which leaves the citizens with no advocates whatsoever.

If Christman really opposes unhealthy relationships in government, then he must oppose the Apple Valley Town council, which has several on-going relationships of this type, and is looking to add our water service to the brew.

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

Published: Daily Press