What Are We Doing?
Opposing the hostile takeover of Liberty Apple Valley
The meme when the Town Council put forth Measure W to counter the voter-initiated Measure V was that Measure V was too difficult to understand. Turns out the voters understood Measure V just fine, which is more than can be said for those who supported Measure W.
Take Measure W supporter Pat Orr, who repeats several falsehoods in his letter about these measures (
For example, he claims that Liberty Utilities will be able to recoup expenditures on Measure V through water rates. False! What may be more to the point, though, is that Measure V benefits ratepayers in Apple Valley — not Liberty Utilities; Measure W was designed as a blank check for the Town Council, minimizing ratepayer input. If Mr. Orr would spend a moment to acquaint himself with the facts, he would soon discover that it is against the law for Liberty Utilities to use ratepayer funds either for this type of political activity, or for costs arising from the Town’s eminent domain litigation.
He also claims that we in Apple Valley have outrageously high water bills, which in a way is an admission against interest. Our water rates are about the same as those in surrounding communities, when you take into account the hidden charges in municipally-run water utilities. So, if your water bill in Apple Valley is high, it’s because you’re using a lot of water. In a desert. During a drought. If Mr. Orr and his friends have outrageously high water bills, they need to get a clue and start conserving.
He also implies that Measure W somehow would have reduced water bills in Apple Valley. False! Measure W didn’t even have the word
water in it, and had nothing to do with the proposed takeover of Liberty Utilities, as the Daily Press noted in its election results summary (
It’s also worth mentioning that Superior Court Judge Richard Fruin has tentatively ruled against Claremont’s eminent domain attempt, which used the same legal team (BB&K) and frivolous arguments that the Town Council is using against Liberty Utilities.
Given that the Town of Apple Valley is currently tens of millions of dollars in debt with almost no reserves, maybe we should be thanking Liberty Utilities for helping put a speed bump in the path of the Town Council’s headlong rush to bury us under hundreds of millions of dollars in additional debt.
— Greg Raven is Co-Chair of Apple Valley Citizens for Government Accountability, and is concerned about quality of life issues.
Published: Daily Press, November 15, 2016