No middleman (December 20, 2015)

It must be nice to have, as Mayor Barb Stanton does, the bully pulpit at council meetings where residents get three minutes, and the luxury of 700-word opinion pieces while letter-writers get half of that (No middle man; acquiring water system will not require more taxes, Daily Press, December 20, 2015).

Although she falsely accuses Ranchos Water and The Carlyle Group of all manner of bad behavior, let’s remember that Stanton was once fired for racist comments and defamatory statements about a local bank, promised one thing to get elected and then turned around and did the exact opposite, acknowledged at a council meeting that she was using 49 units of water per billing cycle, revealed that she was unaware that the drought surcharge was related to water usage, had no idea that Ranchos offered free water audits for water wasters such as herself, and mendaciously assured everyone that the Town would be utterly and completely transparent regarding the cost of the hostile takeover of Ranchos. In the world of demagogues, she’s the Lucy who keeps pulling the football away from the plain old Charlie Browns who have the misfortune of living in Apple Valley.

Even worse is how brazen Stanton has become in using with her power to make ex cathedra misrepresentations, while the Town refuses to participate in a forum where each side gets to present its position, or even to put the Ranchos hostile takeover to a vote.

Speaking of voting, Stanton now promises that ratepayers who will not be voting on the takeover, will be able to on water rate increases, even though the record shows the Town has repeatedly violated Prop. 218, which mandates that those votes must take place. This is her way of saying she’ll hold the football for certain, this time. As Charlie Brown would say, Oh, no, not again!

I recommend that we not trust her this time … at least not until she acknowledges that there is one only monopoly in town, and she’s the mayor of it.

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