Valley Voices: Voters show they want a say in water takeover issue (December 16, 2016)

Pat Orr is right — the ROI does indeed tell the real story of Measure V and Measure W. However, Mr. Orr’s math is wrong. To date, taxpayers have spent more than $1.6 million on an eminent domain lawsuit that is doomed to fail.

Voters were never asked if they wanted their money spent this way, and Nov. 8’s election results overwhelmingly demonstrated that voters believe government is wasting money and acted to hold politicians accountable by passing Measure V with 67 percent of the vote.

Measure W was the plan concocted by the Town’s private law firm, Best Best & Krieger. Without any choice in the matter, taxpayers were forced to spend $136.44 per Yes on W vote. Further, our taxpayer dollars were used to intentionally undermine the people’s right to vote.

Apple Valley voters are smarter than the politicians and their allies thought. They saw through Measure W’s promises and recognized that it was nothing more than a blank check for continued wasteful spending.

The $1.48 per Yes on W vote Mr. Orr refers to is what H2Own was able to raise from people who actually supported the measure — a reflection of its lackluster support — whereas the $136.44 in taxpayer dollars per vote was spent without consent from those whose pocketbooks it came from.

This $1.6 million gamble was made on the assumption it could be repaid with bond money once Apple Valley went through the eminent domain takeover process — an assumption that was proven wrong last week when the City of Claremont’s eminent domain efforts were rejected in a court of law. The Town’s private law firm, Best Best & Krieger, was also Claremont’s attorneys. The citizens of Claremont are now on the hook for millions in legal fees, and they must also repay the other side’s legal fees as well, in addition to costs already incurred on the takeover efforts.

Local politicians and their mouthpieces like Mr. Orr should carefully consider the facts. Voters passed Measure V, and Measure W failed despite millions of dollars in taxpayer-funded campaigning. Instead of continued wasteful spending on private lawyers and closed session decision-making, it’s time for the Town of Apple Valley to move forward and work with Liberty Utilities to have a real dialog on how we can manage the Town’s water resources for generations to come.

Pat Hanson is an Apple Valley resident. She and her late husband, Chuck, initiated the movement to place Measure V on the Nov. 8 ballot.

Source: Daily Press

Files related to Measure V

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