Vague promises (August 6, 2016)

You quote Apple Valley Mayor Barb Stanton as saying, A for-profit water company is there to make a profit. A community-owned system is there to serve the community (Missoula’s win, Apple Valley’s gain? Daily Press, August 5, 2016).

Any reasonable person would infer from this that the Town of Apple Valley will be able to seize Liberty Utilities and then immediately eliminate profit and lower water rates. But that assumes those uttering these promises are themselves informed, knowledgeable, and reasonable, which most definitely is not the case.

First, a hostile takeover of Liberty Utilities would guarantee that Liberty Utilities receives a profit on its investments to date sooner rather than later, as no court is going to deny the massive monetary contributions that Liberty has made to our town.

As for the long-term profits going forward, the monies that would have gone to Liberty Utilities to encourage them to continue to invest millions into our community will instead by going to a bank somewhere in the form of principle and interest payments on a massive bond. Whichever bank this is, it will not be concerned with our water system or our water rates: It will be concerned with receiving its monthly payments, period. It will be of no concern of theirs if the Town has to steal candy from babies (or raise taxes, or water rates for that matter) to get their money.

So when do the rates go down? Not for 30 years or more.

Apple Valley Mayor Pro Tem Barb Stanton recently told the Daily Press she believes water rates will go down once the town pays off a bond that would be used for the purchase (Assemblyman discusses benefits, pitfalls of water system acquisition, Daily Press, October 8, 2015).

Of course, the current Town council members will be long gone by then, as will many of us. A better approach would be to get rid of the current Town council members in November, before they can do any further harm to our community.

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