Letter: Reconsider purchase of Apple Valley Ranchos Water (March 18, 2015)

As a personal resident of Apple Valley (my business is in Victorville), I have been an avid supporter of our Town Council. Apple Valley has been blessed with good men and women of common sense, wisdom and focus on the community. But that does not mean I always agree with them. When it comes to the purchase of AV Ranchos Water, I plead with them to rethink this folly.

Why? A public relations campaign that is decidedly not neutral may be a wrongful use of taxpayer dollars. The new public relations contract, described in the Daily Press on Sunday, calculates to about $100K for persuasive, not informational pieces. That does not include the attorney costs. Note, a propaganda piece appeared in the Daily Press on Monday and blasted the thought of a private company. I would rather have solid information with which to make an informed decision than a propaganda piece saying that private water companies are bad. AV Ranchos is one of several water companies in Apple Valley. Is the town going to use eminent domain to take all of them? If only one or two is selected, will my obligations as a Ranchos customer be placed as a burden on those ratepayers in other service areas? Will my water bill reflect infrastructure, bond cost and/ or water costs from other areas? To me, that translates to rate increase, not decrease.

Are we getting what we pay for? The pipe in front of my house broke three times before they put in a replacement. The pipes have broken in other areas of my subdivision. What is the condition of the system?

We hear about the successful takeover of water companies by cities, but what about the failures? What can we learn from the less than successful takeovers? Have we considered the Big Bear Lake vs. Southern California Water litigation?

I am not convinced that this move is right for Apple Valley, and I am not getting real information to understand otherwise. Common sense does not support the purported water rate savings. Instead I see expanded government salaries, pensions, PERS, a new bureaucracy, and the ammunition to repeatedly attack my wallet to pay for all of this, because, as we know, we all need water.

Diana J. Carloni, Apple Valley

Source: Daily Press