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.
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.
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).