City Council unanimously approved a 4.99 percent rate increase for Recology during its meeting Monday evening. If a majority of the rate payers officially protested the increase, it would not have happened. However, the city received only 185 protests, not nearly enough to make up a majority. A majority would have required 5,841 protests. The increased rate will be in effect from Jan. 1 to the end of 2012. For those who use the smallest 20-gallon can, the rate will increase from $21.88 per month to $22.95 a month. Pete Pereira complained to City Council Recology has eliminated the senior rate he enjoyed under Coastside Scavenger's operation. "My rate has doubled since Recology took over," he said. Ken Miles also objected to the higher rate and said Pacificans pay the highest rate in the county. "We are being taxed to death," he said. The city's consultant, Rick Simonsen of HF&H, said some other communities are experiencing rate increases, but not all. "There are lots of variables when determining fees," he said. Chamber of Commerce CEO Courtney Conlin supported the business and the rate increase. City Councilmember Jim Vreeland said he hated approving a rate increase, but he and the other council members determined it was necessary to do so to fulfill the terms of the franchise agreement with Recology.
We like the idea of regulatory agencies protecting us from predatory lenders and other evildoers, but sometimes government bureaucracy seems a bit wacky, as in this case of the City of Pacifica zoning administration cracking down on Gorilla Barbeque's picnic grounds because of the lack of a restroom. Read all about it in the Planning Commission agenda below (item 2):