Two years of Apple Valley budget cuts

Back in early 2018, the Town of Apple Valley’s annual audit revealed several areas of concern (“Audit addresses Apple Valley’s financial issues,” Daily Press, March 10, 2018). Newly hired Town Manager Doug Robertson told the Daily Press he had asked each department “to come up with 10% reduction across the board,” promising, “we will have a balanced budget for FY 18-19.” Yet two years into Robertson’s cost-cutting program, the town is asking for a tax increase to pay for budget deficits (“Town Council vote puts 1% sales tax increase on ballot in Apple Valley,” Daily Press, July 29, 2020).

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Sales tax increase (Pettit)

If the Apple Valley Town Council would stop the foolish spending of our taxes, we would have a surplus of cash. Example: golf course, money spent on the attempt to take over the water company, the really stupid purchase of the Hilltop property and so much more. Mr. Doug Robertson, the town manager, is way overpaid. Just check into what he is making. Probably could pay the Sheriff’s office budget for at least a month!

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Court report: Eminent domain trial revisited

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.

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The pot calling the kettle black

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.

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Another empty promise (Carloni)

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?

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Not much of a choice (Carloni)

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.

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