TOAV Transparency Report raises more questions than it answers (August 18, 2015)
The Town government’s
Transparency Report should be a shock to any taxpayer and raises more questions than it answers. This reckless spending only reinforces the widely held view that a takeover by the town will result in higher rates, higher taxes and fees for all citizens. At best one might conclude that the $3.2 million budget is a very expensive attack on a private business and more than $1.4 million has been directly or indirectly spent to perpetuate a campaign of misinformation to mislead voters.
Apple Valley Ranchos has maintained from the outset that this attempt to seize the assets of Apple Valley Ranchos would be long, costly and divisive and the Town government’s
Transparency Report confirms this fact. We have also maintained from the start that Ranchos is not for sale to the Town and they would ultimately have to resort to using eminent domain.
Apple Valley Ranchos’ costs to operate the water system are a matter of public record at the California Public Utilities Commission and there for all to see. The costs related to the defense of Ranchos’ reputation and ownership are being paid for by the shareholders, not the customers.
The history of other condemnation attempts has shown the ultimate value of a water utility far exceeds the initial lowball offers put forth by a government and that means high taxes, high water rates, or both. The eminent domain process is costly and voters should be mindful that the Town will also in all likelihood be responsible for legal fees incurred by Ranchos Water in defending their ownership.