The city of Corvallis just finished a process in which it chose to increase the garbage rates for city residents by 6 percent.

And nobody seemed to care.

At the Sept. 5 Administrative Services Committee hearing at which the rate was approved for full City Council consideration, one resident showed up to testify about the increase. He was against it because he is on a fixed income and thinks that 6 percent is kind of high in these economic times.

At Monday’s City Council meeting no visitors spoke up about the garbage rate increase and the council approved it unanimously after approximately 15 minutes of debate that was dominated by the issue of what is a “reasonable rate of return?”

It’s a reasonable question to ask (pun intended), although it kind of reminded me of my jury duty days in which “reasonable doubt” always was used to help jurors decided the guilt or innocence of individuals on trial.

In that judicial scenario what is reasonable is up to the individual juror. Just as what constitutes a reasonable rate of return for garbage rates, ultimately, was up to each individual councilor.

And all nine said that 6 percent WAS reasonable, essentially guaranteeing a profit to Allied Waste in a time in which most other business receive no such guarantee.

Does Corvallis care? Not that much, it seems.

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