Support appreciated (December 20, 2015)

As a Councilmember in Apple Valley, I appreciate the support of the community in our efforts to acquire the town’s water system.

The decision to pursue eminent domain was not one that I, as an elected leader, took lightly. It involved extensive research, detailed financial analysis and considerable soul-searching.

In the end, it was a business decision, based on what we on the Council believe is best for our community. Our residents agree. Polling shows that seven out of every 10 ratepayers support community acquisition of the water system.

As the financial analysis laid out, savings from just a couple of the line items, such as some corporate overhead costs, will be more than enough to pay off any debt service, invest in infrastructure and stabilize rates.

Most importantly, the people of Apple Valley will be able to control the future of their own water. As elected Town Council members, we are accountable to you. That’s not the case for the private monopoly that owns our water system today. The Carlyle Group is accountable to its investors.

As for the California Public Utilities Commission, which has jurisdiction over the rates charged by private providers such as Carlyle, part of the their mandate is to ensure that these companies make a profit, which is why the cost of water in Apple Valley is higher than in Hesperia, Victorville or any other community in the vicinity.

The shift from monopoly control to community control will not happen overnight. There is a process to follow, and we will follow it.

Thank you again for your support. The willingness of our residents to make their voices heard is part of what makes Apple Valley great.

Art Bishop

Town Councilman Apple Valley

Source: Daily Press