So, who am I? And why am I doing this? My name is Dan Blackburn. I'm a retired newspaper reporter who has lived in Paso Robles for 25 years. During my career I reported on vigorous bidding contests between waste hauling companies. I sat through endless months of waste disposal contract negotiations between Western Waste, BFI and others, and the councils of several Los Angeles County and Orange County cities. In Sacramento, I wrote on complicated statewide trash issues and legislation as a regularly featured contributor to the California Journal, a respected political publication.

I had the time this year, so I read the city of El Paso de Robles's contract with Paso Robles Waste & Recycle. As usual, it was full of technical data and incomprehensible charts and formulas. But I couldn't miss this: the proposed rate hike is being automatically extended through 2027. The current contract with Paso Robles Waste & Recycle extends through 2022. I couldn't miss the wide variation in rates between neighboring communities. And I couldn't miss this fact: This is a no-bid contract, for which there is no logical justification.

Let your city council members know you don't support a rate hike in the absence of a bidding process for this contract.

Who Am I?