Thank you to all the concerned citizens who have reached out on behalf of the businesses over the garbage rates. I share your concerns and know the businesses are the backbone of our community.

Please know this is my number one priority, and the city is working on all fronts to try and come up with a resolution.

While another council member and myself were on an ad hoc committee and only went to two meetings, we were not negotiators.

That being said, we were very concerned with the garbage rates for the residents and didn’t want those rates to more than double. We were concerned for our seniors and other residents that could not tolerate that kind of raise.

In hindsight, I am sorry I relied on the past city manager’s recommendation, and I am sorry I did not ask to see the before and after rates that our businesses would be subject to, as I had seen for the residents.

Yes, I am very concerned about the rates, and we are doing our best to help businesses reduce their main waste and recycle more.

Costs are increasing due to mandates that require 50 percent recycle diversion due by 2020 mandates and 75 percent by 2025. While we are very frustrated at these mandates, it means more costs incurred in collection. Additionally, since China is no longer taking our recycled materials and the state will no longer allow yard waste at the landfill for recycle credit, rates are increasing. Many businesses have already been able to reduce and recycle, thus dramatically reducing their rates.

I have reached out to the chamber and said publically that we are in high gear working on this. It is not my policy to respond on social media, because not everyone is on social media, and it is hard to get the whole story and understanding out among all the half-truths, personal attacks and out-of-context statements going around. Any concerned citizen is welcome to reach out, and I will meet with them so they can share their concerns and ideas for a solution.

Hindsight is always clear, but it is time to focus our efforts and work together to come up with a solution. Please be patient with us as we try to work this out, and let me know if any of you have any viable ideas to help us come to a resolution.

Paige Lampson is the mayor of the city of Galt.