Liberty is the best alternative (June 4, 2016)

John Pedigo recently wrote in a letter to the editor that there were no alternatives in Apple Valley to buying water from Liberty Apple Valley (Pretense and hypocrisy,, Daily Press, May 17, 2016). I responded that there are alternatives, but they are a lot more expensive (Turning on fact-checking, Daily Press, May 17, 2016). Now Pedigo says he doesn’t want to hear about alternative sources because they are too expensive (Known vs. unknown, Daily Press, June 3, 2016). If you turn this around, you’ll see that what he’s really arguing is that water from Liberty Apple Valley is so inexpensive that every other alternative looks ridiculously expensive by comparison, which was one of my original points. Perhaps the solution is for Pedigo to try one of the other water alternatives for a couple of months, after which time he can then feel good about discovering the low prices charged by Liberty Apple Valley.

Pedigo ends his missive by proudly proclaiming that he would rather pay interest than profit. What this really means is that he would rather pay two to three times more for water than we currently do, as long as some out-of-town bank receives the money instead of a local water utility that knows what it’s doing and can use that money to continue providing us with clean water at a fair price. You don’t need to look far for an example of this, as it happened when Big Bear took over its water utility. Keep in mind that this massive overpayment — running into the hundreds of millions of dollars — merely enables the Town can buy something we already have.

On top of that, if the hostile takeover of Liberty Apple Valley is successful, our water system will be run by the same group that for years has allowed numerous safety and code violations to go unchecked and unattended at Town Hall, Civic Center Park, Brewster Park, Lions Park, James Woody Park, and the Horsemen’s Center. Visit YouTube and search for Kerry Henard for more information about this. As bad as these existing violations are, they are nothing compared to what would happen should our water system receive this same neglectful and uncaring consideration.

Finally, if Pedigo seriously cares about lack of choice in water providers, he should not be support the Town of Apple Valley's hostile takeover of Liberty Apple Valley. Far from expanding choices, government interference in the marketplace will reduce choices (and drive up costs), as it does everywhere else.

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

Published: Daily Press, June 12, 2016