Unfair reporting (May 25, 2017)
Has the Daily Press joined the propaganda department for the Town of Apple Valley? It certainly appears to be the case lately. Your headline today represents the nadir in fair and accurate reporting (“H2Ouch: Town rates highest,” Daily Press, May 25, 2017).
The headline should have been the text you ran as a subhead: “Liberty: Charges comparable once ‘all-in cost’ considered.”
Instead, readers in search of the truth have to read down to the nineteenth paragraph (which appears on a different page) to get the facts.
You don’t even bother to correct Mayor Scott Nassif, whom you quote as saying, “We cannot understand and Liberty has never adequately explained why it charges our citizens so much more for water.” Not only has this been explained over and over to Mr. Nassif and the rest of the Town Council, but on September 13, 2016, Eric Larsen of Liberty Utilities explained it again, and invited the Town Council members to attend an upcoming meeting where they could ask questions. Mr. Larsen made a special point of explaining how the CPUC sets Liberty’s rates to Mr. Nassif. He further explained that the total cost of water delivery in Apple Valley is comparable to that in Hesperia and Victorville; it only appears different on the bill. Mr. Nassif’s response was that he understood, but wanted to be billed differently! Apparently for Mr. Nassif, wanting to be billed differently is reason to tear apart our community over this issue and for the town to take on hundreds of millions in debt. Talk about hubris.
Whether or not you support the Town’s hostile takeover of Liberty Utilities, know this: If Measure F passes, the town loses. Every moment that we allow the Town Council to proceed on this matter adds to the dollar amount we ratepayers and taxpayers ultimately will have to shoulder. The Town Council may have already spent more than we can afford, but at least we can stop the bleeding by voting no on Measure F.
Only then can we start the healing.
— Greg Raven is Co-Chair of Apple Valley Citizens for Government Accountability, and is concerned about quality of life issues.