Sign of the Times (January 22, 2016)

Congratulations Mayor Barbara Stanton on making the New York Times back in November. You must be very proud of yourself but in my opinion this contrived story made us in Apple Valley look like a bunch of High Desert water whackos. Since November this little story has been gnawing at me so I thought I needed to let you know how I feel.

People who read this story say, wait a minute. These Apple Valley folks choose to live in a desert and now they are complaining about having to ration water. That seems like a contradiction to me. Mayor Stanton, you may have a national hit for the home team but it was at the expense this community and the people you are supposed to be representing. Instead you are representing nothing more than your agenda to use eminent domain to acquire Apple Valley Ranchos Water Company.

You must think voters and readers from outside our community are clueless. We live in a desert in a state that is experiencing an unprecedented drought and you make the water company out as a villain for doing its job and obeying the state and local authorities. Come on, mayor. Are we to really believe that on the town’s watch this would all go away? You and your cronies make all this noise about Ranchos being a monopoly but what do you think a government-owned water system is? It’s a monopoly too.

I guess you want us to think that if our government owned the water system there would be no penalties to customers who use more than their fair share of water. Here’s one for you. I did some drive-around-town research and talked to some people and learned one of the biggest offenders of the state-imposed drought targets is our own town. I can hardly believe it. The Town of Apple Valley continues to use more and more water regardless of the governor’s mandate that we cut our use by 28 percent.

Your antics seem so disingenuous. In the story you call drought surcharges fines when they are nothing of a sort. None of us like to pay the drought surcharges but to call them fines is another example of the lessthan- truthful antics you and your councilmembers use to justify your attempt to spend our tax dollars on your whacko ideas.

Mayor Stanton, it seems that you and your cronies are up to political shenanigans again. Now our community finds itself embroiled in an eminent domain fight that is costing all of us millions while our own town is flagrantly using more water and then complaining about paying more for it.

The story quoted you saying you let your trees die but the picture shows a huge green-leafed tree and multiple green bushes. I have to wonder if you are among the residents using more than your fair share and that is why you have drought surcharges. Maybe you should have a water audit done like many of us and try doing your part before taking advantage of tough situation to justify spending millions upon millions for Ranchos.

— Joseph Danes, Apple Valley

Source: Daily Press