False impressions (August 30, 2017)

In the past week, there have been two letters to the editor suggesting Liberty Utilities is somehow delaying the eminent domain process. Obviously, the authors of these false impressions don’t understand the process. False impressions are a tactic that has been coming from the town side for over two years now.

As an attorney, my opposition to eminent domain is based on research, professional reports, and the almost daily stories of water mains breaking in Los Angeles and other cities.

The TOAV has never successfully run a water agency, and to say it can do it better than Liberty is a fiction. The Town will cost the ratepayers millions in rate increases or it will let infrastructure rot. I have been a water board member, I have lived the hostile community opposition to bonding and rate increases. The Town’s claimed savings are a fiction and defy common sense. Mr. Puckett’s reports are neither believable nor based on fact. They resemble his fairy tale about something running in front of him on the freeway.

If Town residents think that $150 million is enough to purchase the AV water system, they are sorely mistaken. The hard system the Town values at $84 million, and the water itself is $65.4 million, thereby exhausting the bond BEFORE costs of financing, attorney fees for the Town and Liberty, prepaid interest, etc. If the Town thinks it does not have to buy the water rights, the cost to acquire water from the Mojave Water Agency, based upon Liberty current usages, would be $186 million.

People buy into politician’s stories when they think it will help their wallets. The Town is only interested in enlarging its coffers, per goal eight of the 20/20 Vision plan. I can only tell the residents to investigate the facts. I can advocate against the takeover. But ultimately a judge will decide the right to take and a jury will decide the value.

Diana Carloni, Apple Valley, CA

Published: Daily Press, September 7, 2017