__..___.___.._The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, February 15, 2000 - 7
Mayor decides against
living wage ordinance
Continued from Page 1
by the cost of the living wage.
But Kolb said the contract Sheldon
cited does not come up for many years
and would probably be renegotiated.
Several council members who voted
for the living wage said they supported
the plan because of current wages and
cost of living in Ann Arbor.
Many of them said they were con-
cerned workers contracted to handle
solid waste, recycling and parking
structure operations aren't able to live
above the poverty line.
"Many of these jobs that are avail-
able now are below the poverty level,"
said Ann Arbor City Councilwoman
and living wage sponsor Tobi Hanna-
Davies (D-Ward I).
Kolb said Sheldon was in essence
inviting corporations to come in and
pay workers whatever they wanted,
while making a profit and not paying
them a living wage.
"I basically believe it's an insult to
the working men and women who do
the contracted work for the city,' Kolb
said. "i guess the mayor is saying that
these workers who sort solid waste and
recylcables and who man the parking
garages aren't worth paying a living
wage or a medical living wage or a
wage above the poverty line."
The city council would need eight
votes to override the mayor's veto, but
when the vote was taken, the decision
was along party lines, with seven
Democrats voting in support and four
Republicans, including the mayor vot-
Councilwoman Marcia Higgins (R-
Ward IV), who voted against the living
wage, said she didn't support the plan
because she thought it wouldn't reach
the target audience - families below
the poverty line.
"There weren't enough hard facts
and too many broad sweeping state-
ments," Higgins said.
Higgins said she would remain
open-minded to arguments for the liv-
ing wage, but said she would change
her vote only if new facts were brought
to the table.
Kolb said that the council would try
to overturn the veto, but didn't expect
to overpower Sheldon's veto. But Kolb
said the supporters of the bill would do
everything in their power to put it
through, including taking the living
wage proposal to the ballot box in
November as a citizen's initiative.
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