Governments hide what they owe and ignore what they own. Current practice “misses large swaths of government activity” and encourages “illusory fiscal practices,” the International Monetary Fund notes in its latest Fiscal Monitor report, which was released this week.
Lawmakers at every level of government currently have a unique opportunity to end the confusion and distortion surrounding the ways governments calculate their finances and report them on their financial statements, as the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) considers changes to its reporting recommendations.
“The condemnation of Mountain Water Company was a victory not for good government, efficient utilities or the rate-paying public. It was a victory for lawyers, ‘expert’ witnesses, and foreign bankers. Citizens got left holding the bag. Our water is the same and our rates are the same, but now we owe a mountain of debt and have to repay it without the help of what used to be one of our biggest taxpayers. I wonder if the folks in California will make the same mistake.”
I’ve been critical of the Town of Apple Valley’s plan regarding the takeover of the water company, in part because I thought they would never be able to run it as efficiently as Liberty Utilities. Their previously-stated plan to fire the upper management and replace them with more expensive (and less qualified) government employees seemed just part of the insanity.
These water well costs for Horsemen’s Center, and the Mud Run that followed, really got me thinking. As Al Rice knows, there is an issue that has stuck in my craw for some time. After hearing complaints from others, I long ago started to look at the non-profit situation in the High Desert. These recent issues above fall right into this category.
The good news is Doug Robertson reduced Apple Valley employee compensation by eliminating high level jobs in the amount of $1,139,151 (annually).
As the red flags keep flying higher on the Town of Apple Valley finances, I thought it was time to put some historical context to how we have arrived where we are today, and feel free to speak up if you spot any errors, omissions, or mischaracterizations.
I’m not sure which of the above categories the Daily Press/Apple Valley Review falls into. You all saw the articles by Angela Valles and Mayor Art Bishop’s response to her. One has to wonder what these columns are? If they are merely opinion, then, of course, they do not have to validate what they are saying. That would certainly explain why Mr. Bishop took extreme liberties in his writing.
Town Manager Doug Robertson admits his “experience” in Apple Valley is limited to seven months in office, and it is apparent from his Valley Voices opinion piece (“Water system control crucial for Apple Valley,” Doug Robertson, July 29, 2018) that his knowledge about the eminent domain case is nothing more than a retread of prior false statements fed to the population of Apple Valley by Town Hall and its attorneys. Mr. Robertson has no facts to support his position. Given the fiscal irresponsibility of the Town over the last five years (deficit spending, draining reserves to zero, and now having to obtain credit to survive), the only “crucial” element of the desired water takeover is that Town Hall gets its hands on the water company revenues to avoid insolvency!
Last week we talked about how I believe District Attorney-elect Jason Anderson should investigate the credit card transactions and travel expenses of the Apple Valley Town Council. This is part two in the series.