Letter: Apologies to Hesperia, Victorville (November 8, 2015)

Last week a commentary titled Private companies make tough water choices from Apple Valley Ranchos Water Company resulted in some unintended consequences for some citizens and public servants in Hesperia and Victorville. On behalf of Apple Valley Ranchos, I want to personally apologize for what may have left many in the High Desert with a wrong impression of the municipal leadership for Hesperia and Victorville.

In Ranchos’ commentary, we attempted to communicate the differences between government-owned and privately owned, regulated water utilities with regard to their sources of revenue and the cost of providing water service. We recognize that the manner it was expressed could leave readers with the view that Hesperia or Victorville did something wrong, when that was not at all our intention.

The City of Hesperia and the City of Victorville are blessed with dedicated men and women who are fine public servants and any suggestion of impropriety merits a public apology and direct clarification.

It is no secret to most anyone in Apple Valley and most parts of the High Desert that the Town of Apple Valley and Apple Valley Ranchos are engaged in an intense debate over what we believe to be the unwarranted use of eminent domain that will be far more costly and risky to taxpayers who will end up footing the bill.

Throughout this debate Ranchos has worked hard to defend its reputation and protect its right to provide water service in Apple Valley, just as we have done for the past 70 years. To that end, many citizens in Apple Valley have attended meetings and written letters to the editor to promote our point of view.

When we produce our own commentary for the media and our customers we hold ourselves to a high standard and strive to be factual and clear about our positions at all times. Furthermore, we know this issue has strong views on both sides. We always endeavor to be clear, respectful and factual. Unfortunately, in this particular commentary we did not meet our own standards of clarity. We should have made our point differently and avoided an inappropriate and inaccurate characterization of the City of Hesperia and the City of Victorville.

We are hopeful the leadership and citizens of Hesperia and Victorville will accept our sincere apology.

Tony Penna, Vice President and General Manager, Apple Valley Ranchos Water Co.

Source: Daily Press