Scrooge to raise trash rates on Los Osos

December 16, 2019

Julie Tacker

OPINION by JULIE TACKER

Merry Christmas Los Osos. Here we go again, prepare yourselves for coal in your stocking as the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisor will raise garbage rates by 25.31 percent, both inside and outside the Los Osos Community Services District boundary on Dec. 17.

In a recent television interview, Mission Country Disposal representative Jeff Smith said, “Although the percentage sounds pretty high, the dollar amount isn’t that much. It’s more like a cup of coffee.” Mr. Smith, the coffee I make at home costs about 30 cents a cup, it’s my favorite coffee-drink from my local barista that costs about $4 — that’s why I seldom have one.

Ironically, $4 is exactly what the 25.31 percent will cost me every month after the board raises my garbage rate (that’s a $48.00 annual increase).

This 25.31 percent raise has already taken effect on my neighbors in Cambria, and 26.43 percent increase in Cayucos, but my friends in SLO City only experienced a 13.72 percent increase and the South County customers have “enjoyed” a mere 10 percent increase in their respective garbage rates.  Same trash company, same reasons in each rate case — why the difference in rate increases?

Los Osos was just notified that their $200 per month sewer bill is also going up, and it endures some of the highest water rates in the state.

Now, in the week before Christmas, it will be hit with this increase by the folks at Mission Country Disposal (aka, San Luis Garbage, South County Sanitary and Morro Bay Garbage) to cover their equipment, recycling and labor costs.

This garbage company has had contracts with these municipalities for a long time. Perhaps it is time for the SLO County Board of Supervisors to put the contract out to bid to see if there’s a garbage company out there that can do the same job for less money?

It will take 50 percent plus one valid written protests sent to the county clerk before 9 a.m. on Dec. 17 to stop the increase; but the supervisors themselves can stop it.

If compelled, the board on behalf of their constituents needs important questions answered before implementing the increase. One such question is what does the county’s 10 percent franchise fee go to?

In years past, when the Los Osos Community Services District managed the garbage franchise, the franchise fee went to “Community Clean-Up Days,” weed and vegetation abatement for fire known as “Chipping Days,” picking up bulky items that had been dropped or dumped along the road and public education. Since the county took over in 2013, we haven’t seen these programs.

County staff has said the franchise funds are “discretionary,” which means these funds, paid by Los Osos residents, are likely going into the county general fund where they can be spent pretty much anywhere in the county on things that aren’t for Los Osos. This is wrong.

The county needs to put those funds back into the community that paid them. Additionally, the supervisors have the option of reducing the franchise fee; alleviating some of the pain from the rate increase.

Make your concerns known. Walk your written protest (include your address and assessor’s parcel number) into the clerk’s office before Tuesday’s 9 a.m.SLO County Board of Supervisors meeting.


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citizensoldier

This from Karen’s news article:

“County staff is recommending, if less than 50 percent of residents mailed in a written protest, the supervisors vote to approve the requested rate increase.”


Puvluc servants are using low information citizen’s ignorance and apathy to openly steal money needed to pay for poor management of their governance.


Why else would a “100%” increase be needed to cover costs of a particular operation.


This new method of taxation, if left unchecked, will be mimicked throughout the land.


Abither consequence of elections.


You can keep your rights only if you are willing to fight for them.


Putting this “item up for bid” during the holidays is especially unethical.


Merry Christmas y’all…


Humperdinck

Garbage bills going up everywhere in CA to employ more plastic sorters, because China doesn’t want our poorly sorted plastic anymore. I’ve never recouped 1/2 of the bottle and can CRV recycling fees I’ve paid when recycling them. Basically, CRV fees have turned into income redistribution as the dumpster divers get the bottles. Then they pee in the bottles in their tents. A few days later they pour the pee in the storm drains and then get a few sheckles for the bottles at the recycling center. CA can’t even run a recycling program without driving most of the recyclers out of business. Per original intent, CA redirected the bottle and can recycling fees to the general fund 5+ years ago. Every 6 month CalRecycle petitions for extra funding to keep the recycling facade from imploding after they miscalculated the sustainability.


oldtimer

Why not make Osos fees based on income of occupant or tenant? I see mansions there for days. How fair is it poor pay the same as those horrid houses in the hills or tsunami prone gaudy palaces in Baywood? An idea, I bet three households there could pay the towns bill and still only be a drop in their bucket. Serves em right too.


jimmy_me

I want a smaller can and a lower rate; my trash can is never full. This is more about generating profit than it is about providing service.


Snoid

Geez, the sewer rates are going up too. What..Wallace need new dentures or something?


MrYan

A $4 increase will not cause the groundswell of protest you hope to see. Fuel has gone up, hasn’t it? People are reasonable. Meh will be the overarching response.


The garbage collection fee you complain about is actually a fair price.


How much time, expense, and effort would it take for you to haul it away yourself?


Hint one run to Cold Canyon is $25 min. Gas from Los Osos round trip $5-6. The value of your time 1.5 hours -$18 at min wage.

The likelihood hood you’ll do this regularly? Zero. So garbage everywhere but in a Landfill. That’s why we mandate garbage collection.


Go buy that cup of coffee and think about it. You are getting a good deal.


Who’s the penny pinching Scrooge in this scenario? Makes you wonder.


Snoid

Sure is uplifting there sunshine how you justify everyone getting screwed some more.


Julie

MrYan,

Perhaps you don’t know that I, and my neighbors, do not have the option of handling our own solid waste. The service is REQUIRED! Even if I’m on vacation for half the year and no solid waste is generated, the bill has to be paid.

I do not want to give one more thin dime to these guys without a fair competitive bid.

BTW, 25% is 25%! It’s too much!

And to do it while people are busy with their holiday obligations is just cruddy!


MrYan

A secular government should not concern itself with your religious holiday season.


Do you think the competitive bid process was abrogated? Show us some evidence. You rarely do. My bet; there was one.


I get that you don’t have a choice. I don’t want you to have one.


My point is if given a choice; you, the collective we, would wallow in trash. The $4 increase is fair. Your complaint is weak eggnog.


Mitch C

25% may be too much or it may just bring Los Osos’s trash collection rates in line with what is paid in other communities. The article does not mention what the average rate in SLO County is. This article leaves much information missing. The new collection rate may only bring Los Osos on par with the average. On the other hand it may be an overrach – you just cannot tell from the article.


Humperdinck

Cold Canyon Landfill is $45 min. Apparently you haven’t been to Cold Canyon in 10 years. The last increase on 1/1/19 from $40 to $45 minimum a truckload was done without any posting on the Cold Canyon website or without submitting for approval with the county. Cattaneo’s had Garbage Commissioner Sibbach in their back pocket 25 years ago and nothing has changed politically. What has changed is there is an mechanical arm to dump waste wheelers instead of a second person on the truck to roll the container to the rear bin. There were too many back injuries back then, so to keep Workmen’s Comp rates from going through the roof, the garbage companies got trucks with these mechanical arms. Then came the state recycling boondoggle which mandated 3 containers per household and the extra diesel to make 3 trips to a residence on garbage day to pickup essentially the same weight of trash. How did that help CO2 emissions?


Kalifornia_Bud

Don’t they work for us?


Mitch C

Actually they don’t. Los Osos foolishly gave their ability to set their trash collection rate to the county. Why would 4 out of 5 Supervisors care how the people who have no vote about their future care how people felt about increasing costs. The Los Osos Board of Directors has given away their ability to advocate on behalf of their citizens. The have given away a viable revenue source. They have left their citizens at the mercy of a Board of Supervisors over who they have only a 20% influence.


Jorge Estrada

If rent control will now be at 5% starting 2020, why does everyone else pick there raises. It is like there is only so much money and the property owners are moved to the end of the line. Sounds like government controlling property owners so the service industry can get the bigger chunk of available funds.


DocT

Property owners? Who? Where?


As far as I know, only the state and federal government can own property. The rest of us rent it from them in the form of property tax. If you don’t pay the rent, sooner or later the landlord will kick you off their property.


Jorge Estrada

I agree and if you think you are the landlord with a few rentals, you’ll realize that you are really the heavily regulated bad guy who is expect to provide affordable housing. As a result there will be sales that will result in higher property taxes and higher rents, a complete result of rent controls. A complete free for all pricing legal and locals out.


citizensoldier

DocT,

I believe you are overlooking the basis for the the institutional republic and the “We the People” component intrinsic within governments.


I know that you are not a,”low information” citizen.”


Living in California (Caluzuela) has likely had a negative impact on your self esteem as it relates to how you “feel” and think about what it means, to be a “citizen.”


I stand with the 60% of Amnerican citizens that do not trust government.


The 2nd amendment assures the 1st.

The Constitution was not written with hunting in mind.


citizensoldier

Constitutional not institutional.

However not an all together unrelated typo…