What Are We Doing?
Opposing the hostile take-over of Liberty Apple Valley
The recent election result on Apple Valley Ballot Measures W and V was disappointing to those of us that were working hard to give people in our town a real choice when it came to future control and expense of the water we need and use. There was never any illusion that we would be able to outspend Liberty Utilities or their Canadian parent company in the campaign but the extent to which they tossed money into this campaign was truly astonishing, and we haven’t seen the final totals yet.
As a business owner, I do not hold any animus toward a company that spends all out to save a healthy profit center from being taken away from them. I do feel somewhat betrayed by Apple Valley
community leaders who stumped and advertised for Measure V who should be able to feel more empathy for our fellow citizens who have a tough time paying outrageously high water bills.
Couching your indifference in
democratic principles doesn’t fool anyone. Based on the campaign expense reports filed so far, Liberty spent $27.53 for every Measure V yes vote while Measure W yes votes cost us a paltry $1.48. Yes, we lost, but accepting a return on investment (ROI) like Measure V produced just confirms that: A) Liberty Utilities doesn’t care a whit about expenses because in their industry, expenses get folded back into what they can eventually charge the customer and, B) they must be planning on taking a whole lot more profit out of this community to justify that investment expense.
The one bright spot that has come from the W versus V campaign is additional education for the residents of Apple Valley.
The eminent domain process moves on. A day of reckoning will come and by then more rate increases, surcharges and mystifyingly complex CPUC decisions will have been laid on us and voters in Apple Valley could have another crack at exercising their right to vote.
H20-Our Water Now Committee Apple Valley
Source: Daily Press