Not paying attention (August 29, 2017)

Anyone who believes that the passage of Measure F means that the Town of Apple Valley “won” the water war hasn’t been paying attention.

In Claremont, the voters passed a funding measure to take over their water company before starting their eminent domain process. Even so, they lost in court. Now, citizens of Claremont have to come up with at least $14 million to pay attorneys.

Apple Valley’s eminent domain case is far weaker than Claremont’s, so Liberty Utilities is virtually guaranteed to prevail. The passage of Measure F — far from being a precursor of success — simply means that the citizens of Apple Valley will be on the hook for millions in legal fees, an utter waste of money that will not provide so much as one drop of water for anyone, let alone “stabilize or possibly reduce” anyone’s water bill.

Meanwhile, Liberty Utilities continues to provide excellent service, and transparency at Town Hall has never been worse. Liberty Utilities continues to spend millions upgrading our water system because that’s how responsible companies operate. We don’t know what Town Hall is doing with our money because they have stopped issuing reports, and the Assistant Manager for Finance faces a looming personal crisis.

Concerned citizens tried to warn everyone about the dangers of the Town’s eminent domain efforts. For whatever reason, they passed Measure F anyway. Unless there is a major personnel turnover in Town Hall soon, we are all in for a bumpy ride, assuming we don’t crash and burn along the way.

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

Published: Daily Press, September 6, 2017

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