Apple Valley newsletter (February 14, 2016)

The Town of Apple Valley bulk mailed (at taxpayer expense) the glossy Our Town dated February 2016, which was dedicated to spreading yet more propaganda about our water and why town ownership of Liberty Utilities through eminent domain will be beneficial to town water users.

The town, however, doesn’t mention the new owners in this mailer. I have no faith in the other information in this mailer because the town can’t even get straight who owns the company by continuing to reference the Ranchos Water Company, which no longer even exists! Liberty Utilities’ purchase of Park Water was approved in December of last year! It became official Jan. 8.

The mailer regurgitates the lie that town ownership through eminent domain (system acquisition) will not cost you more, but at the Jan. 26 Apple Valley Council meeting, under a consent calendar vote with no discussion under agenda item 5, they unanimously allowed the Assistant Town Manager Marc Puckett to borrow from a future bond they currently don’t have, with a maximum face value of $120 [sic] million.

Did you vote to give them the approval to encumber the taxpayers under Proposition 218? This single example best illustrates the truth about the people being able to control town spending! Who will repay that bond? What are they using the money for? Initially, to pay for the costs associated with the seizure of Liberty Utilities. Borrowing from Peter to pay Paul.

The town claims it aggressively reduced water consumption in the mailer. That is an absolute lie because I filed public records requests and personally reviewed the invoices from the former Ranchos Water Company to the town. The town didn’t reduce consumption to 2012 water usage levels, which was the baseline which the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) implemented. One can argue the policy and the politics behind it, but it was and is mandated.

As a percentage, town consumption of water increased in 2015. They also paid large water surcharges to the Ranchos, but when you spend other people’s money, it hurts a lot less than it did those private residences. Making it worse, the town had the gall to impugn the former Ranchos’ integrity over those drought surcharges when the Town knew it made the 28 percent water reduction goal set for the town by Gov. Brown’s SWRCB harder for the Ranchos to achieve!

— David Mueller, Apple Valley

Source: Daily Press