Recently, the Mt. Shasta City Council circulated a letter and chart to all parcels located within the city. The letter announced a proposal to increase (within a time span of only three years) the cost of picking up one residential can of garbage per week (for example) from its current $14/month to $24.50/month, an increase of 69%. 69%. And zero guarantee that three years from now, the franchise won’t ask for even more money.

If you're okay with that, stop reading. If not, this is a summary of the instructions provided in the single-spaced, two-page letter on how to “vote no” on the increase. It requires 50% of the customers of record of parcels in Mt. Shasta City to protest the increase in order for the fees not to be imposed. You have until Nov. 25 to walk or mail in your protest to City Hall, Attn: Solid Waste Rate Protest, 305 N. Mt. Shasta Blvd., Mt. Shasta, CA 96067. Only one protest per parcel is permitted and the protest must conform to these requirements:

1) It must be in writing.

2) It must state that the customer of record protests the proposed fee increase. Two sentences will do it: “I am the customer of record at ____ (Mt. Shasta City address) also identified as Assessor’s Parcel No. xxx-xxx-xxx-xxx (see #3 below). I protest the proposed solid waste rate increase.” You do not have to elaborate.

3) It must state both the parcel address and the Siskiyou County Assessor’s Parcel number. You can find that on your real estate tax bill or ask your landlord, looks something like 057-501-###-### (all numbers, of course).

4) It must include both a legible printed name and a signature.

There is a hearing on the proposal scheduled for 5:30 p.m., Nov. 25 at the main lodge at City Park. Be aware, however, that verbal objections and protests will not count toward the 50% written protests required to stop these increases.

Please join me in writing a protest to stop the implementation of these high fees.

Valerie Lashbaugh

Mount Shasta