What the Tracy City Council has done to the utility payers of Tracy is sneaky and insensitive. I realize everything has a cost, but the substantial increase in the garbage rate is outrageous.
The City Council reviewed and proposed the rate increase in early June, and it was scheduled for a public hearing. Why did the residents read about the increase only in August? Why didn’t the council broadcast this like it broadcasts everything else it wants to public to know, such as the $19 billion Grand Theatre Center for the Arts and the $15 million new City Hall?
The council didn’t bother to notify the residents of Tracy, such as Stephen Hespel, who’s retired and on a fixed income, or give them an opportunity to voice their complaints. Families are struggling with the cost of living and higher gasoline prices. The council didn’t bother to consider other options, such as smaller garbage bins or charges based on amount of garbage generated.
It’s a shame residents of Tracy have to pay $31 a month for sewer and $29.45 a month for garbage collection, and that’s not adding in the cost of water (depending on usage).
There has not been a garbage rate increase since 1995, but there are a lot more houses in Tracy since the last rate increase.
The council needs to re-evaluate its decision to increase garbage rates by nearly 50 percent.
There are six-figure salaries of city workers, and that’s outrageous, because this is not Los Angeles or the Bay Area.
It’s obvious the council does not care about the residents of Tracy. A lot of families don’t generate that much garbage, because most of us recycle. My family doesn’t put out the garbage toter each week because there’s not enough to fill the toter, and we recycle pretty much everything. The council didn’t think about the residents like Stephen Hespel and the working families like mine.
Tracy’s government is becoming too big. Because the residents of Tracy didn’t have a voice at the council meeting about the steep rate increase, I encourage all Tracy households to write to Mayor Brent Ives and the rest of the council to voice their dissatisfaction about the unanimous vote to increase our garbage rates. I am a voter. The mayor and the council members are clearly not listening to the residents of Tracy. It’s time to clean house.
• Mary Smith has lived in Tracy for 13 years and is a social worker in Stockton.