FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Diane Barnes
EASTPOINTE. "Now Eastpointe residents will decide whether or not we want a 'Living Wage' ordinance," said repeal organizer Diane Barnes. "And I don't think they're going to like the idea of gouging taxpayers for the sake of special interests," she added.
On Wednesday the local business owner filed petitions containing 465 signatures -- 65% more than required under the city charter -- with the Eastpointe City Clerk's office. Once the signatures are certified, this action will block the ordinance adopted by the city council on April 3. Local officials must then either rescind the ordinance themselves or else put it on hold until it can be put to a vote on the next general election ballot.
If affirmed by voters, the "Living Wage" ordinance would require all companies who contract with the city, or receive public subsidies, grants or tax abatements, to pay employees a minimum wage of $11.00 per hour (or $8.50 per hour with full benefits).
"I oppose the so-called 'Living Wage' because it will cost us taxpayers in the end -- either through loss of services or higher taxes," said Vicky Beeman who helped with the petition drive. "Or both," added her husband Rick who worked with her.
The city clerk now has 10 days to certify that the petition contains the required minimum 286 valid signatures. However, the entire question could be rendered moot if the Michigan legislature passes HB 4328 which would retroactively eliminate the authority of cities to impose minimum wages higher than those mandated under federal law.