Our overpaid, unresponsive Livermore City Council is at it again, raising the rates on sewer service well above the rates charged by neighboring communities.

Regardless how many people protest, the council will pass the increases unanimously, similar to the garbage-collection rate increases after Proposition 218, where the city extracts fees from the franchise agreement with Livermore Sanitation. In spite of claiming Livermore Sanitation "cannot collect more revenue than is necessary to recover the costs of providing the services, and cannot charge any group of customers more than their fair share of those costs," every single rate increase requested has been approved unanimously, two in the first year and every July 1 since. The mandatory service requirement, even for those homes with no one living in them, implemented by the council at the time Livermore Sanitation took over, and the fact that the city acts as collection agency for a private entity, speaks of the corrupt nature now at play. All this while the city requires the sanitation company to provide completely free garbage collection to every city site except the airport.

The contract for Livermore's garbage collection is up for renewal this year and you can expect the rates to triple with the new contract just as it has during the last. Leopards don't change their spots.

Recently the top Livermore administrators voted themselves (behind closed doors) a considerable raise in pay. And they want the homeowners in Livermore to pay for it. Currently Livermore's sewer rate is over $675 per year for a single-family residence. In just four years it will be nearly $860, if the council has its way, and I'm sure it will. Compare this to Dublin's $446 per year rate. Dublin’s garbage-collection rates are lower also, as are Pleasanton's.

The mailer that came out a week or so back claims the sewer rates are not a tax, but it appears on everyone's tax bill from the county. It's a tax! So, the slippery folks downtown are collecting monies in advance of the need. Shame on the council and its self-serving ways, and particularly for being so unresponsive to the citizens of Livermore.

If any of these facts rub you the wrong way, I urge you to file your letters of protest with the city clerk before April 27, and attend the city council meeting that same night to let the council know we all have had enough.