City Council Set To Make Decision On Minimum Wage

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Thousands of Ottumwa residents are anxiously awaiting the Ottumwa City Council decision on minimum wage. Will they opt-out or do nothing?

The Ottumwa City Council will meet Tuesday, November 1st at 5:30 PM in the council chambers of City Hall. The last item on the agenda calls for action from the council on the minimum wage discussion.

The council has three options:

  1. Do nothing and accept the minimum wage as set by the Wapello County Board of Supervisors. (minimum wage enforced by Wapello County Attorney’s Office)
  2. Opt-out of the county minimum wage and keep the federal standard of $7.25/hr. (Minimum wage enforced by Iowa Department of Labor)
  3. Opt-out of the county minimum wage and set their own separate from the county and federal minimum wage. (Minimum wage enforced by city staff).

The council appears split on the issue. Councilman Bob Meyers has publicly expressed concerns over the county minimum wage and is expected to vote to opt-out of the county minimum wage.

Councilman Victor Streeby told the KBIZ Dialogue Program that he plans to vote to accept the minimum wage as set by the Wapello County Board of Supervisors. He said he wants the first increase to go into effect to gauge the impact on small business. He says he would then reevaluate his position after seeing any impact.

The Ottumwa City Administrations appears opposed to the Wapello County minimum wage. City Administrator Andy Morris and Mayor Tom Lazio both recommended that the council opt-out of the minimum wage increase at a council meeting on October 11th.

The Council agenda reads that “Staff is strongly recommending that the City reject the Wapello County minimum wage and reaffirm the State’s minimum wage law. It is viewed that this is an issue better left to State and National legislative bodies to determine and enforce.

The council will hold three readings of the proposed ordinance to opt-out of the County minimum wage. The second reading will be held at the council meeting on November 15th with the final reading occurring on December 6th.

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