Turning on fact-checking (May 17, 2016)

Letter writer John Pedigo breezily informs everyone that I fail to recognize something that I have in fact written about before: Alternative water sources in Apple Valley (Pretense and Hypocrisy, Daily Press, May 16). As it turns out, while there might not be other water companies, there are other water options. The only problem is that you can pay more than the penny per gallon for water that Liberty Apple Valley charges, like 67 to 475 times more, if you’re lucky and your time is free.

As for franchise fees, according to my last Frontier bill, the Town’s take is more than twice the next highest tax or other charge, for a whopping 42 percent of the total of these add-ons. On top of that, the Town gets free Internet. But when there’s a problem for those of us who are mere citizens, the Town leaders offer no help. And as I pointed out earlier, with Frontier you pay the same whether you use the service or not (or in this case, whether or not it is even available); with water, you can regulate your bill by regulating your water usage.

Pedigo also claims that our water bills are so much higher than surrounding areas. Not true. When you take into account all costs and other factors, Liberty Apple Valley is among the least expensive providers of water around.

Then Pedigo talks about us suffering so Liberty Apple Valley can make a profit. Excuse me? Liberty Apple Valley has spent millions on a reliable system that brings us safe, clean water. There are lots of other places big companies can invest that kind of money and get excellent returns. We’re extremely fortunate that Liberty Apple Valley has chosen to invest some of its millions in our community. To put it another way, if the Town is successful in spending $120 to $200 million (or more?) in its hostile takeover attempt, that mandated profit will be going to some lender somewhere as debt service, which is no help whatsoever to our water system. The Town had decades’ worth of opportunities to buy the water system and refused to act each time. This is not the fault of Liberty Apple Valley. Neither are the drought nor the state-mandated water cut-backs.

Finally, Pedigo offers the false dichotomy of either accepting mob rule or running for office. This is precisely why the founding fathers detested democracies, because it always devolves to the will of the people, right or wrong, instead of following the rule of law. If we abandon the rule of law, any government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take away everything you have. And that’s exactly what’s going on here.

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

Published: Daily Press, May 23, 2016