I chuckled at the headline story of the May 14 Daily Press, “Sewer fees on the rise in Apple Valley,” by Matthew Cabe. Oh, the sweet irony! Oh, the hypocrisy!
The very same Town Council that claims it must raise sewer rates (15 percent over three years), relentlessly attacks Liberty Utilities for water rates that guarantee excellent service. The same Council that claims it will save you 3 percent on the generation portion of your electrical bill neglects to tell you about the CCA surcharge and franchise fee, which destroy any savings the residents might receive. The town’s quest is to put money in its own coffers, concern for the residents be damned.
I hope all noted from the article that the Council expects to raise rates again when VVWRA increases its rates to process sewage received from the town. And let us not forget the increase in franchise fees on the trash bill (currently subject to legal challenge) or the new legal fees arising from the town’s annexation of freeway frontage property in north Apple Valley. The hits to our wallets seem endless!
The town is beginning to act like Sacramento: If it does not have enough money, it will impose a new fee, a new tax, up utility rates, or move money from one account to another without explanation. After all, the taxpayers will pay for it! Each new increase or new charge can pass on five votes alone, burdening 72,000 or so residents, again.
It is time to change this tax-and-spend Council and its policies. A good place to start is cutting the funds that support the town attorney in the frivolous water fight and annexation process. A second place is changing the current leadership, which requires engaged voters. Whatever process is pursued, a fresh approach is desperately needed.
Diana J. Carloni, Apple Valley