Weighing both sides (October 8, 2015)

I was glad to see that Assemblyman Jay Obernolte (R-Hesperia) says that residents of Apple Valley should weigh both sides of the proposed hostile takeover of Apple Valley Ranchos Water Company by the Town of Apple Valley (Assemblyman discusses benefits, pitfalls of water system acquisition, Daily Press, October 8, 2015).

There’s just one problem: The Town refuses to discuss the issues.

To be sure, the Town has issued a virtual blizzard of lies, misrepresentations, and half-truths in the form of printed materials, videos, Facebook posts, radio ads, bus stop ads, public utterances, and even a web site. It has also hired a PR firm at $150,000+ to convince people to support a decision the Town says it has yet to reach! Worse, while the Town attempts to maintain this absurd pretense, the controversy it has generated is roiling residents and creating what must be an unprecedented atmosphere of divisiveness.

The Apple Valley Chamber of Commerce invited the Town to attend a public meeting where it could present its case alongside representatives of Ranchos. The Town declined. Not surprising, given the way Town officials contradict themselves on what their own position is; it’s clear they can’t even handle one side of the facts.

Combine this behavior with the Town’s continuing inability to make public what it is spending and plans to spend on the takeover, and you are left with a situation that cries out for more transparency.

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