Citizen awareness (November 3, 2016)

As we approach Voting Day, I see more and more citizens are sending in their Opinions (to the Daily Press) regarding some of the questionable measures that appear on the 2016 ballot. They raise taxes to fund what appears (on its face to be) vital and needed services to the community.

So far, The Town of Apple Valley, and particularly members of the Town Council, lead the parade in pushing for added taxes to fund some of their Pet Projects. And the real question is, are more funds actually needed, or is this a case of wanting more money to spend by politicians who’ve forgotten why they were elected to office, and just good ‘ole boys (and gals) who’ve become comfortable in spending money because they can?

Consider for a moment the clever scheme the Apple Valley Town Council has come up with. The Hansons figured out that the present makeup of the Town Council has too free a hand in spending citizen money. So they came up with Measure V to allow the citizens to have a say in high dollar project expenditures. Along comes the Town Council to thwart the Hanson initiative with their own Measure W. Two specific members of the Town Council, Councilman Art Bishop and Councilman Larry Cusack (both up for re-election and on the 2016 ballot) are heavily pushing for Measure W, a Measure that adds more money to the Council’s kitty to spend as they see fit. And among the comments publicly made by Councilman Cusack, he attempted to minimize the efforts of the Hansons by saying that only a small number of Apple Valley citizens signed to have the Measure put on the ballot. Looking at it another way Councilman Cusack, enough signed it to get the measure on the ballot for the citizens to decide, not you!

Then comes the other parts of the scheme, Measure A, the Apple Valley Fire District Measure that will allow for presently closed fire stations to be re-opened and manned. That’s where Councilman Art Bishop joins the choir of supporters. Of course, being a former Fire Chief, people assume he knows what he’s talking about because he has both the credentials and position in power to make it happen … happen so long as the citizens go along with the program and feed the kitty with more money to play. Now I ask you, who in their right mind wants to see any Fire Station closed or prevent their re-opening? It’s not truly a question of the money, but how funds are allocated.

Bottom line, are the aforementioned measures a case of actual need or is it a case of not appropriating tax money for the needed projects, instead of politically motivated needs such as the purchase of Liberty Utilities or opening previously closed Fire Stations? Personally, I’m for term limits and the need to shake up the Apple Valley Town Council. And IMHO, it’s time to replace Art Bishop and Larry Cusack and remind the remaining members of the Town Council that they represent the people and the funds they disburse aren’t theirs to play with.

Alex Varga, Apple Valley

Source: Daily Press

Files related to Measure V