Letter: Creating another DWP-type fiasco (June 30, 2015)

The Town says a majority of the community supports the takeover of Ranchos Water Company. They are dozing during public comments, where a majority have been opposed.

Their own identical budget statements of the last two years: …the need to consider new sources of funding to support existing service…

…services provided to the community has also continued to rise at a rate greater than the Town’s revenue growth.

The Town is not in the position — at any point in time throughout the fiscal year absent a major upward shift in the economy — to add expenses without corresponding reductions or offsetting revenue enhancements.

The takeover is just their grab for a revenue source to offset more general fund expense, like their fund transfers from the sewer fund. Does this violate Proposition 218 requirement to charge no more than the cost of service?

Without new revenue why spend significant funds to pursue the takeover, when they already have less for providing existing services?

They offered $50.3 million. The Town paid $89,000 plus for an expert appraisal, but it was citizen, Al Rice, who found the expert’s calculation error resulting in the increased figure. Most everyone knows, the actual cost will be closer to more than double that offer.

Last budget quote, referring to budget constraints, This must apply to everyone if we are to successfully work together to implement the budget. Apparently everyone does not include the council and employees who received another 3 percent raise, equal to 9-10 percent with other related costs. This while CALPERS says HMO costs going up 7.2 percent Jan. 1, and they have fallen short on investment returns that may be charged back to the public. Costs to be supported by the public whose private sector jobs fall short of supporting the ever increasing town hall costs.

It is pure fantasy to think the takeover is the town’s benevolent act on behalf of the people and won’t ultimately be another LA DWP type fiasco.

Leane Lee, Apple Valley

Source: Daily Press