Hot water (December 28, 2015)

David Christman takes Tony Penna of Apple Valley Ranchos for telling the truth about Apple Valley’s water war (Water war heats up, Daily Press, December 27, 2015). His position shouldn’t surprise anyone. Christman has gone on record as needing 150 units of water per billing cycle, but not wanting to pay for it. (For roughly the same size house and lot, my wife and I use 3 units per billing cycle.) Now he wants the Town to seize Ranchos Water Company, but he doesn’t think they should have to pay for it. Nice.

However, Christman also accuses Ranchos of dividing the community and making the condemnation process expensive. Sorry, but in each case, Town representatives did this all by themselves through their clumsy rule-or-ruin approach. The Town’s own Transparency Report makes this quite plain.

No doubt Christman and other supporters of the Town’s hostile takeover expect some sort of renaissance should the Town prevail in its efforts. I urge Christman and others to consider the words of Daniel Webster:

Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority. It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters.

Considering that the Town doesn’t know what it’s buying, it doesn’t know what it’s going to cost, it doesn’t know where the money is coming from, doesn’t know what the money is going to cost, doesn’t know how to run a water utility, doesn’t know who is going to run the system, and has a history of failure where water systems are concerned, the alternative to Ranchos proposed by the Town is nothing more than promises of good intentions.

For those who may not be aware, Christman was a member of the Town’s 2011 Blue Ribbon Water Committee, which recommended against acquisition of Ranchos by the Town. The facts haven’t changed since then. What has changed in the Town’s insatiable need for additional funding, and the willingness of residents to act in their own petty self-interests despite the irreparable harm it causes our community.

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