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« Head in the cloud | Main | Monkeying around with science education »

Dec 19, 2007

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Billy The Blogging Poet

"Was Robbie able to vote on this one?"


Interesting question. I assume Robbie has employees on the payroll of his business and have to wonder if any of them are earning less that the $9.36 per hour proposed minimum wage and if so then wouldn't that be a conflict of interest on the part of Councilman-Bulldoze-and-Burn-Perkins?

And did he really just learn that having a seat on City Council involves more than just zoning decisions?

Roch101

Perkins is a real estate broker?!?! Um, I think that was pretty well known before he was elected. Maybe he shouldn't be mocked for being above board and doing the right thing.

Tony Wilkins

The petition is not valid according to the Greensboro City Charter.
Guilford County BOE's role is to accept the filing of petition and verify valid signatures. GC BOE should not be expected to advise petitioner's on a Greensboro city matter.
Petitions are usually adversarial in nature because the normal process would have included a refusal on the part of city council to enact the ordinance. I may be mistaken but I do not believe council was ever asked to accept this ordinance before members began petitioning for referendum.
What is unusual in this case is three members of city council have allegedly signed the petition when any one of the three could have brought this matter before council without the petition process.

Ed Cone

The link under the word "petition" goes to a clear and interesting discussion of the validity of the petition.

My inclination is to stand on the letter of the law, in order to avoid other exception requests down the road, but the Council voted decisively the other way, so I'm not too upset about it.

Roch101

Tony, the petition process is a way for citizens to initiate a change in local law. The council will accept or reject the proposed ordinance once the BOE has verified the signatures. The advantage to doing it this way, as opposed to trying to get city council to enact a change of their own volition is that, if the council fails to enact the ordinance, the measure is automatically put on the next ballot as a referendum.

beth

Here's my dilemma. Let's say Greensboro can make the min. wage, nine something an hour. That makes me and my piddly little job min. wage. where as before it wasn't....

Is my employer going to increase my compensation...

It's somewhat mentally depressing in that regard for myself, but a welcomed idea none-the-less.

Tony Wilkins

Agreed Roch, as I have been involved in three of them. The last successful petition in Greensboro was in 1989.
You state, "if the council fails to enact the ordinance, the measure is automatically put on the next ballot as a referendum."
Wouldn't you want to know if they would enact an ordinance before you spent a year and who knows how many man hours collecting signatures?
I'm not aware of any ordinance petition process that has ever begun without first asking council to enact the ordinance.

Bubba

"That makes me and my piddly little job min. wage. where as before it wasn't....

Is my employer going to increase my compensation..."

In addition to your question, there's this to consider:

Some employees have contracts that have a wage floor based on some multiple or some percentage of minimum wage.

Those employers won't be too happy with giving a 55% raise to people currently making $25/hour.

Odds are pretty good that that this thing will not fly.

Ryan

No one has pointed out how the increase in min. wage will affect the person making $30k per year. All of the sudden the #4 at McDonald's will cost them $6 rather than $5 and a movie might cost them $12 rather than $10 due to companies having to raise prices to cover the increase in overhead. I am pretty sure the goal isn't to supposedly increase the quality of life for one group and decrease it for another group... right?

Ryan

Roch101

I don't know for sure, Tony, but I'd guess that a look at the previous city council made success seemed doubtful. Even this one is probably unlikely to pass it, but it's probably more likely with 6,000 signatures in front of them then without.

Dave Ribar

Ryan:

Actually, I am pretty sure that the goal IS to increase the quality of life for one group and decrease it for another. The question is whether the quality of life is just decreased for business owners or for other groups as well--there is no free lunch here.

There are many good arguments that people can make in favor of a higher minimum wage, but proponents need to recognize that the money for these wage increases comes from somewhere, usually from a combination of lower profits for businesses, reduced hours or employment for low-wage workers, and higher prices for consumers.

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