Safety Harbor City Council Candidates and paying at least $10.10 per hour to employees

On January 31st I set out to ask Carlos Diaz, Ray Irvin, Dean Harmeson and Andy Zodrow the following questions:

“What do you think of being sure every Safety Harbor employee makes at least $10.10 per hour? What do you think of requiring every contractor to at least pay their employees $10.10 per hour if they work for Safety Harbor? I am asking everyone that is running to answer these important questions that should have been asked at the meeting. Thanks, Stephen”

I was able to contact all the candidates on Facebook with mixed results.

So here are the results in Scorecard format: Carlos Diaz 0, Ray Irvin 1/2, Dean Harmason 0 and Andy Zodrow 1/2

Why the scores?  Both Ray Irvin and Andy Zodrow received partial credit for responding to my requests.  Both Carlos Diaz and Dean Harmason received the questions and totally ignored me.  All perhaps a window into the future of our City Council.

Ray Irwin stated ” if there is a minimum wage law passed in FL. It will come from the state legislature, not local governments” which I interpret as “if the law tells us to, we will”.  I see nowhere in his statement that he would personally be supportive of a minimum of $10.10 per hour for all Safety Harbor Employees nor would he be in favor of requiring contractors with the city to pay $10.10 per hour.  See the entire comment at my website.

Andy Zodrow stated ” I am generally in favor of the Federal government raising the minimum wage right now.”  But when it came to $10.10 for city employees or contractors he hedged with words like “review” and “consider alternatives”.  See the entire comment at my website.

Matt Spoor, Safety Harbor City Manager informed me all full time city employees make more than the $10.10 per hour and only six of 44 part-time employees make less (four library aides at $8.81 and two leisure services timekeepers at $7.93 per hour).

Time to vote!  My guess is not any one of these four would push for let alone vote for the enforcement of a minimum of $10.10 per hour for all City of Safety Harbor employees nor would they ever consider making it a requirement for city contractors.  And $10.10 per hour just might be enough to take someone just above the poverty line.  Hard choices here but please do vote.

NOTES:  Here is the entire reply from Ray Irvin:  “I’m sure if there is a minimum wage law passed in FL. It will come from the state legislature, not local governments, I don’t believe there is anyone in our city making less than $10.10 per hour full time, in addition city employees receive medical benefits for their families, there was an effort this year to reduce dental and some family care in an effort to reduce costs to the city, I drafted the Fin. Comm. statement in the form of a motion to the Commission not to pursue those cuts and they amended their plan and didn’t make the cuts. If elected I will look into it and see where we are on the wage issue. Thank You.”

Here is the entire reply from Andy Zodrow:  ” Stephen, thank you for the opportunity to respond to the questions you posed last week. On Friday, as I prepared my response, we attempted to contact City Manager Matt Spoor to get more information. While I have not yet had an opportunity to speak with him directly, I can tell you that I am generally in favor of the Federal government raising the minimum wage right now. That said, I can’t really comment on the $10.10 per hour minimum for every City employee, as I would need to review more closely the current City salaries & benefits, the City budget and how an hourly rate change would affect City revenue. With regard to your second question about City contractors / vendors, there may already be policies & procedures in place that address this issue and I would want to review those before I could comment or begin to consider alternatives. I apologize that I can’t give you something more definitive, but the reality is that in order to answer these two questions adequately and in a fully informed manner, I would need more information. Again, having said that, I am generally in favor of the raising the minimum wage.”

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