The city is dealing with some “headwinds” of its own, including a large unfunded public safety pension fund, Whelan said. At the same time, the city could see their own state shared revenues taken by the state due to the minimum wage.
“The truth is, we’re in the same boat,” Whelan said, referring to the city. “Sooner or later, where do we draw our revenues from?”
Whelan said they may need to consider again asking voters if the minimum wage hike should move forward.
“Is it time that we bring (the minimum wage question) back, educate our community again on these impacts that we’re seeing, because we need strong economic development?” Whelan said. “Is it time to ask again, knowing all these things, are you sure you want to move ahead with it?”
Mayor Coral Evans said there is only so much the council can do and pointed at the minimum wage as the perfect example of something that, although impactful, was community created and thus out of the council’s hands.
“There are definitely things that Council can do, and do better,” Evans said. “But there’s also the nebulous unknown of, quite frankly, the citizenry that brings forward some of these proposals and ideas.”
Evans said there are currently community members discussing community-led efforts to create a parks and recreation tax or to increase the bed board and beverage tax. Those conversations are not happening among councilmembers, but could still become realities if pushed by the community, she said.
Adrian Skabelund can be reached at the office at firstname.lastname@example.org, by phone at (928) 556-2261 or on Twitter @AdrianSkabelund.
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