Best supporters money can buy (August 31, 2016)

Your article about further extravagant Town of Apple Valley expenditures included mention of a support group for the Town’s desparate efforts to seize our water company, Liberty Utilities (Town paid more than $50K for ballot measure, Daily Press, August 31, 2016).

Interestingly, at least three of the four members of this group have benefitted to the tune of millions of dollars thanks to the Town’s favorable treatment. At the same time, the Town’s total funds have plummeted from more than $70 million dollars to less than $40 million, but I guess friends such as these don’t come cheap.

In line with the Town’s talking points, this group implies that water rates will be lowered, the Town is hamstrung by regulations, Liberty Utilities is going to raise rates to defend itself, etc. None of these is true. Mayor Barb Stanton acknowledges that rates won’t go down for at least 30 years (that is, after the massive bond is paid off); the Town has spent millions already on this effort, continues to spend, doesn’t really recognize the law anyway, and could stop the insanity anytime it wants; and the CPUC will not allow these expenditures to be passed along to the ratepayers. By the way, those millions the Town has spent attacking Liberty Utilities? That money absolutely will come out of the pockets of Apple Valley residents; no ifs, ands, or buts.

If you check out this group’s Facebook page, you will find an interesting post from August 7th, which falsely accuses me of being compensated somehow by Liberty Utilities. The evidence? I have access to all the numbers and data. Rather than risk confusing other Town supporters with the facts, they banned me from participating in their online discussions.

It doesn’t really matter if they also have access to all the numbers and data but just don’t want others to see them, or if they don’t have access to all the numbers and data, and are arguing from a position of ignorance and fealty.

The fact of the matter is that the voter-initiated Measure V, when passed, will provide a foothold from which we can force the Town Council to make good on its oft-stated promise of local control.

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

Published: Daily Press, September 4, 2016

Files related to Measure V