KICINSKI WARNS CITY COUNCIL: The AVEK-Ridgecrest ‘Bullet Pipeline’ Could ADD $600 PER MONTH To Your Water Bill and Will Pretty Much Destroy This Community!

“Somebody’s gonna have to pay for it” –

October 25, 2022

Ridgecrest California

Ridgecrest has some serious problems and this is seriously bad news: You can’t afford AVEK.

In the last few years, Ridgecrest residents have been confronted with earthquakes, pandemics, vax and mask mandates, Navy base reconstruction, and a myriad of new taxes and fees.

These include a new groundwater “replenishment fee”, additional trash containers and fees, a sewer fee for a new treatment plant that won’t be built until 2026, a $50 million school bond proposal that failed (with another undoubtedly on the way) and now a proposed 1% increase in the sales tax that would bring the City’s sales tax up to 9.25%, one of the highest in the State.

Add to that, consumers are getting killed by increasing gas prices, food prices and shortages while supply lines are breaking, layoffs are coming and the unthinkable war is thinkable. Don’t forget about rapidly increasing interest rates, housing sales coming to a halt, stocks and bonds collapsing and a global debt crisis on the horizon.

And now comes the City of Ridgecrest with a 1% sales tax increase on the poorer-getting-poorer residents in Ridgecrest?! The timing couldn’t be worse. And what about our groundwater crisis and drought?

Let’s get right to the point by blaming Mayor Eric Bruen, Councilman Scott Hayman and former Mayor Peggy Breeden for cramming what we’ll call “Mick Gleason’s Groundwater Sustainability Plan” aka the AVEK Pipeline down Ridgecrest’s throat. If you don’t know what the GSP or AVEK means by now, get out of the pool. Paging Mayor Bruen.

“This will pretty much destroy this Community” – Ron Kicinski, Indian Wells Valley Water District Board Member

During the IWV Water District’s October 11th Board meeting, board member Ron Kicinski gave his cost estimate for AVEK, or the “bullet pipeline” as he prefers to call it. In his well-educated opinion, after performing a qualitative analysis of the cost from beginning to end including maintenance, Kicinski estimates the cost to the City’s ratepayers could be as much as $600 per month without any substantial assistance from the federal government or the State.

Councilman Scott Hayman responded to Kicinski and the Water District at the City Council meeting held a week later on October 19th. Hayman presented an estimate that was three years old. That’s when the fireworks began as members of the public objected, including City Council candidate Christoper Ellis who was upset that Hayman was quite clearly misleading the public. (Video starts at 30:34)

Imported Water Costs – Sept. 5 2019 TAC Meeting

The elections for 3 seats on the Ridgecrest City Council are the most important for Ridgecrest in 40 years.

Mayor Eric Bruen has turned the Ridgecrest City council into a clown show of endless self-promotion and cheerleading, wanting you to ignore the elephant in the room, the cost of importing water. He’s doing great playing the role of cheerleader on Facebook, but the elephant in the room, or turd in our pool as we now call it, is the Groundwater Sustainability Plan and a pipeline called AVEK.

Gleason was on a crusade to ram the project through from the beginning and had an intense passion for putting the farmers out of business. Peggy “Pom Poms” Breeden ran the City’s end of the deal and now Eric “The Cheerleader” Bruen would like you to ignore it. These people are sneaky.

drop the ball turd – verb

  1. To fail in one’s responsibilities or duties, or to make a mistake, especially at a critical point or when the result is very negative.
  2. commit a faux pas or a fault or make a serious mistake

Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License. More at Wordnik

The voters in the City of Ridgecrest have an easy decision to make. Do they want leadership that confronts the serious issues head-on, or do they want bread and circuses? Ridgecrest must have members on the council that take the water issue as seriously as a clot-shot induced heart attack. Ridgecrest deserves a Mayor who won’t turn the City Council into a self-serving clown show while endlessly using the Mayor’s position to advertise for his employer, the credit union we shall not name.


Current Ridgecrest City Council New Ridgecrest City Council
Eric Bruen, MayorTom Wiknich, Mayor
Scott Hayman, Groundwater Authority representativeChris Ellis, Groundwater Authority representative
Peggy Breeden, Termed-outSkip Gorman
Solomon Rajaratnam, term expires 2024Solomon Rajaratnam
Kyle Blades, term expires 2024Kyle Blades
Election results would like to see!

Chris Ellis is running for city council. Chris is one person who can be trusted, who has energy and ideas, and who is a leader. Chris has worked at the Coso Geothermal Power Plant, on China Lake’s north range since 1988. He has led Coso Operating Company since 2002. Chris is highly engaged and respected in our community and, consequently, is on numerous local companies’ boards of directors. He gives, professionally and personally, to many local fundraising efforts. He is always supporting our kids and local sports. Chris builds strong and lasting relationships with governmental and industrial leaders across Kern County.

Scott O’Neal, Letter to the Editor at The News Review

Ridgecrest, I rise in enthusiastic support of Chris Ellis for Ridgecrest City Council.  I have known Chris both personally and professionally for 30+ years.  We have worked together in the energy industry and we have served together on local business and community boards.  Chris is a professional of highest integrity and character and I have seen his commitment to our community first hand.  Chris’ portfolio of expertise transcends far beyond matters of business and engineering, he is an expert in Electrical Power Production, distribution and Water resource development and conservation.  Yes, Water resource development and conservation…

Stewart Witt, via The News Review Letters to the Editor

“That which is unsustainable can’t be fixed with something else that’s unsustainable” — Roadrunner395’s First Axiom

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