Is TOAV being investigated for Prop. 218 violations? (September 22, 2015)

Last week, the website posted a document they received from an anonymous e-mail. It was a run-of-the-mill public records request for documents related to the Town of Apple Valley’s sewer rate increases.

What was interesting about the document was not so much what it was looking for, but who was looking for it.

The law firm that the documents show requested the Prop. 218 documents — Krause, Kalfayan, Benink & Slavens, LLP — has become California-famous for going after local municipalities for misuse of the Prop. 218 process. A case against Pasadena in 2014 particularly, which had the city paying $7.2 million back to ratepayers, is interesting for what it did the for the future of that water system’s finances.

In addition to the monetary settlement, the City was forced to cease the transfer of funds from its Water Utility Enterprise Fund (Water Fund) to its General Fund.

I have heard rumors that the Town of Apple Valley is not willing to establish this practice of keeping funds separate if they take over Apple Valley Ranchos. Also, if the Town’s Transparency Report and adopted budget for 2015-2016 are any measure of how they operate, funds from every department and use are mixed as they deem fit.

TOAV’s position is that Prop. 218 protects residents. We may be on our way to seeing if this is indeed true.

Greg Raven is Co-Chair of Apple Valley Citizens for Government Accountability, and is concerned about quality of life issues.