On Monday, January 6, I attended another session of the Town of Apple Valley’s eminent domain trial that seeks to seize the Liberty Utilities water system (Town of Apple Valley v. Apple Valley Ranchos Water Corp., CIVDS1600180), in front of Donald Alvarez in Department S-23 of the San Bernardino Justice Center. I was the only “civilian” in the gallery, although other supporters of Liberty Utilities have attended on other days. From what I could tell, not a single one of the “outraged citizens” who agitated for the Town to take this course of action has yet to make the trip to monitor the case. Thus, what may have once appeared to be public support for this cause has finally been revealed to be nothing more than astroturf ginned up by the Town.Continue reading
October 7, 2019
I was present for one day of the continuing eminent domain trial (Town of Apple Valley v. Apple Valley Ranchos Water Corp., CIVDS1600180) Thursday morning in front of Donald Alvarez in Department S-23 of the San Bernardino Justice Center, hoping to get a sense of how the trial was going.Continue reading
Hello Apple Valley Choice Customers! Remember how you were promised that joining Apple Valley Choice Energy would insulate you from those horrible Southern California Edison electricity rates and rate increases? Have you checked the April 9, 2019, Town Council Meeting agenda? Your electric rates are going up. The agenda item even states that amendments to the rates will occur as Edison adjusts its own rates.Continue reading
I was fortunate to see the press release from the Town of Apple Valley relative to the LAFCO approval to annex 1,365 acres in the north Apple Valley area. The property is described as “prime freeway frontage,” which “prime frontage” has not seen development in the 28 years that I have been in the Victor Valley. “Revenues will outpace the cost of services to the area,” but no services yet exist. Common sense causes one to ask, “how much” was spent by the town in its two-time annexation approval process (recall it failed in 2009) and how many years of property tax revenue (at .0475 cents of every dollar of property value) will be required before the town sees a return on its investment?Continue reading
The Town of Apple Valley’s Choice Energy program has accumulated at least $70,000 in legal fees (to Troutman Sanders LLP), has hundreds of thousands in other costs (not counting the $250,000 lockbox deposit), and will require $500,000 in administrative fees annually to pay whichever company the Town chooses to operate it. All this for a few pennies off the cost of energy — only to the consumer. The cost to deliver energy over the grid is still billed to the consumer and if the cost to deliver energy goes up, so does your bill.Continue reading
Eight months ago the Town of Apple Valley officially acknowledged what concerned citizens had been saying for years: Spending was way out of line (“More cuts to hit Town Hall amid budget crunch,” Daily Press, April 22, 2018). From sky-high salaries and pensions to wasteful practices to downright unnecessary (and in some cases improper) expenditures, the Town had blown through millions in reserves and was facing a $2.6 million budget shortfall. Everyone was going to have to feel the pinch, we were told.Continue reading
Apple Valley has been on a downward trend for the last four years. The proof of this is the depletion of its reserves to “zero” in order to balance the budget, despite the Town Council bragging about a balanced, “award-winning” budget, and now borrowing millions in a “payday loan” to continue its lifestyle on credit. It’s spending millions of your dollars on the takeover of a water system it can’t afford, and for which it lacks adequate knowledge to operate. It lost one suit over improperly imposing fees on the residents and another is still pending. The only award I see the Town winning is a “Razzie.”
Several weeks ago we asked readers to cast their votes to determine the most corrupt politicians in the high desert. We have received many votes in our comment section and by email. We also received many comments about why the politician voted for were the most corrupt. We will try to give a summary for each politician that describes why they were voted for. It seems the high desert is loaded with many “good” corrupt candidates.
A better way of life or rotten to the core? Apple Valley has always tried to portray a certain image. They have always spent much time and money on “PR”. So what is going on here? We went from having millions in reserves and always seemed to be able to pay our bills and provide the services that were needed. Now we are borrowing money to pay for current services. We are a city getting a pay day loan. What type of people use pay day loan services? Most of the time it is someone who is desperate, bad with money and they are in financial trouble. It is safe to say Apple Valley is in financial trouble but how we take care of this problem will determine if the city goes bankrupt.
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.