Better than what? (July 28, 2016)

In June of last year, the Town of Apple Valley recognized one of its employees for putting together a deal with Big Lots, which supposedly plans to build a new warehouse in the North Apple Valley Industrial Specific Plan area (AKA NAVISP, out by the airport). This deal obligated the Town to spend $1.2 million dollars on development and infrastructure improvements, while requiring little from Big Lots other than a signature. Groundbreaking was supposed to begin September of last year, but to date nothing has been done on the lot in question.

At the July 26th meeting, the Town Council recognized another employee for helping ramrod the Yucca Loma Bridge project. At the groundbreaking ceremony in January 2014, we were told how the Town had worked to get this project going for 30 years. Now, the bridge is said to be complete, but somehow in the 31+ years it took to get to this condition, no one at the Town thought to upgrade Yucca Loma street in anticipation. So even though the multi-million dollar bridge may be complete, it sits unused (except possibly by taggers) until sometime in 2017, awaiting the scheduled completion of the road upgrades.

Source: Facebook

These examples of lousy planning and missed deadlines may be state-of-the-art whenever government is involved, but this approach will not and cannot suffice for the proper operation of a water utility. Of course, the Town makes a lot of promises about how wonderful things would be with our water system under their control, but what’s past is prologue, and the past shows is this is never going to be the case. The Town motto seeks to assure us that we have a better way of life in Apple Valley. The obvious question is, better than what?

Residents of Apple Valley have to tell the Town Council to leave the adults at Liberty Utilities in charge of our water system. They’re not listening now, but come the November elections, we can make our voices heard.

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

Published: Daily Press, August 5, 2016