Who pays? (April 27, 2017)
Complaints about Liberty Utilities spending money to defend itself against the predations of the Town of Apple Valley are un-American, plain and simple. But those who take it a step farther and imply that Liberty Utilities is somehow going to pass along to ratepayers its costs for defending itself, really earn a face palm (“Reclaim our water,” Daily Press, April 27, 2017).
Here are the facts: It is against the law for Liberty to recoup expenses for supporting Measure V and opposing Measure F, and even if it were not, neither the CPUC nor the ORA would allow it.
In any event, campaign spending by Liberty Utilities will almost certainly be less than one percent of the $150 million for which the Town is asking to buy the water system. If you are worried about that amount, I refer you to Matthew 23:24: “Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.”
First, the Town will have to reimburse Liberty for all legal expenses and fees, in addition to paying its own. In Claremont, this amount already totals $13.5 million, which Claremont must now borrow (at interest, of course), just for litigation.
Second, there are dozens of transition expenses should the Town prevail in court. There will be millions in early repayment penalties on existing bonds, millions in fees for new bonds, millions to set up systems to monitor and manage the water works, millions to separate the Yermo water system while maintaining its viability, etc., and all of these millions are on top of the millions required to buy the system and pay the lawyers.
Executive Summary: The Town has guaranteed we will pay millions — win or lose. The difference is that if the Town wins, we pay a lot more, with interest.
— Greg Raven is Co-Chair of Apple Valley Citizens for Government Accountability, and is concerned about quality of life issues.
Published in edited form: Daily Press, May 4, 2017
Files related to Claremont
- 20150308 Acquiring AVRWC is right move for Apple Valley
- 20150314 Expense of possible AVRWC acquisition difficult to gauge
- 20150514 Claremont Water System — Supplement to 2012 Appraisal Report
- 20150905 Letter: Lawyers, water, and money (O’Neil)
- 20150918 TOAV fires back at Coupal
- 20150923 Editorial: Water, takeovers, and the people
- 20151015 Cities and private equity firms fight over ownership of water systems
- 20160712 Public records request (Manning)
- 20160721 Conflict of interest (Manning)
- 20160904 Letter: Peter Allen supporting Measure V (Nassif)
- 20161012 Claremont Set To Raise Rates For Utilities
- 20161018 Will Apple Valley become California’s Flint, MI?
- 20161110 Statement of tentative decision (Claremont v. Golden State Water)
- 20161110 Judge issues tentative decision against city in water system acquisition trial (Claremont v. Golden State Water)
- 20161114 Measures V and W
- 20161115 Polls and votes
- 20161116 Another false narrative
- 20161116 Liberty sees Claremont’s eminent-domain loss as sign of things to come in Apple Valley
- 20161121 Voters show they want a say in water takeover issue (Hanson)
- 20161215 Another costly day for Apple Valley
- 20161218 Time to pay attention: An open letter to Larry Cusack
- 20170111 Claremont city manager getting a $21,000 bonus
- 20170114 Price tag for Claremont’s failed attempt to take over water system keeps rising
- 20170115 Our View: Time for foes to sit down and talk
- Time for the Town Council to listen for a change
- Response to Thomas Lecoq (Carloni)
- Time for a second opinion? (Carloni)
- 20170209 Avoiding the Claremont disaster (video)
- 20170213 Valley Voices: Apple Valley would be wise to work with Liberty Utilities (Wright)
- 20170216 James Belna on the Claremont eminent domain disaster (video)
- 20170220 Claremont resident talks [about] avoiding ‘disaster’ in Apple Valley
- 20170220 Conflict of interest
- 20170220 Letter: Response to Thomas Rice (Belna)
- 20170226 Letter: James Belna’s visit (Hanson)
- 20170226 Letter: Rice rebuttal (Trozpek)
- Claremont public records request
- Truth not tricks (Carloni)
- Comments to the Town Council opposing the ballot measure
- 20170314 Town Council meeting (McCarthy)
- 20170322 Skewing the facts (Hanson)
- 20170323 Letter: Sit down and settle (Henard)
- 20170406 Guest commentary: Government takeovers of water systems don’t deliver results — study
- Who pays?
- Responding to claims made on Facebook
- 20170508 Liberty Utilities radio ad — Claremont (audio)
- Not paying attention
- 20171010 Claremont reaches $4.8 million settlement agreement with Golden State Water
- 20171017 Claremont settlement reignites Apple Valley water war
- 20171026 Claremont cuts ties with its city attorney, law firm