Exponential growth (December 11, 2015)

Newly-appointed Apple Valley mayor Barb Stanton claims she is concerned about inviting people to come live in Apple Valley because you can afford the water here. The water issue is big because our town is growing exponentially. The impact of what’s going on with water — aside from the drought — is the biggest issue our community has faced that I’m aware of. (Barb Stanton makes Apple Valley history, Daily Press, December 10, 2015). As usual, she has it all backwards.

We live in a desert where our main source of water is ground water. Even in the best of times, this is a finite resource. Now, after years of deep drought, our ground water is not being naturally replenished as fast as we are consuming it, putting the sustainability of even our existing population in question.

Yet for Stanton, the issue is neither supply nor demand, but making certain that water users (including the biggest user, the Town itself) don’t have any point of contact with reality when it comes to our water supply, especially not when it comes to paying for this always precious and now increasingly diminishing commodity. If our community is growing exponentially, it’s part of Stanton’s job to put an end to that tout sweet to maintain our better way of life.

As far as inviting people to live here, the Town should be focusing on attracting persons who love the desert, not those who want cheap water.

Furthermore, according to the U.S. Decennial Census, population in Apple Valley grew from 69,135 in 2010, to 71,595 in 2014 — hardly an exponential increase. The only exponential growths in our community have been the size, spending, and grandeur of our government; the number of Town employees has grown 2,250 percent during the same time the general population has grown 67 percent, our reserves are less than half of what they were in 2012, and our level of debt is sky-high and headed for the asteroid belt (thanks to the Town Council’s jihad against Ranchos Water Company).

But what do you expect from a Town with a future goal (Vision 2020) that says nothing about reducing the cost of government or improving its efficiency … only about getting and spending ever-more money?

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

Published: Daily Press, December 14, 2015