November 21, 2014

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Oberlin Council rejects increase in minimum wage

OBERLIN — City Council on Monday rejected a member’s proposal to increase the minimum wage of city workers to $10.10 hourly.

“I believe raising the minimum wage … will be an action our Council can be proud of,” said Councilwoman Sharon Soucy, who introduced the ordinance.

The proposal lost in a 4-3 vote, ensuring that the proposed ordinance would not reach a second reading and that many hourly workers for the city — at least for the time being — would continue to receive a minimum wage of $7.95 per hour.

Councilwoman Kristin Peterson, who opposed the proposed ordinance, said that she has not heard support from the community over the idea of raising the minimum wage.

Peterson said that the issue was a national one but did not have much local standing.

Soucy, who said that the proposed wage increase would only cost the city $25,000 — less than 0.5 percent of the city’s general fund — added that she has heard a very different response from the community.

“My experience has been dramatically different from Ms. Peterson’s,” she said, adding that raising the minimum wage for city workers would, “put our city at the forefront of a movement that’s gaining momentum across the country.”

Many residents who attended Monday’s Council meeting supported Soucy’s proposal.

Danny Rosenberg, a 24-year-old Oberlin resident, said he has many friends who work for minimum wage.

“To deny them a wage that gives people reasonable access to (food and shelter) is to deny them their dignity,” he said, echoing Soucy’s statement about the national impact. “I think Oberlin has an opportunity to set a standard for other communities.”

Mary Van Norwick, another Oberlin resident stressed that raising the minimum wage would not only benefit younger workers, but those who have held minimum-wage jobs for years.

Council member Ronnie Rimbert said the city pays their employees a good wage and those who work for lower wages have chances to earn more. “I don’t see how you can automatically open the gate and say everybody receives ($10.10 an hour) until they earn that.”

Contact Anna Merriman at 329-7245 or amerriman@chroniclet.com. Follow her on Twitter at @AnnaLMerriman.


  • Joe Smith

    Minimum wage was never meant to be a living wage by itself.
    When I made minimum what seems like centuries ago, I worked multiple jobs and lived cheap so I know it can be done.
    I even planted and grew some of my own food.
    It means you don’t have luxuries like cellphones, cable, internet etc. but you can do it.
    People today confuse luxuries with necessities.
    Raising the in wage will just make everything go up for everybody and does little to no good.

  • alreadyfedup1

    Liberal Oberlin REJECTS LIBERAL idealism? What is the world coming to??

    • SniperFire

      They would have to pay for it. Remember, liberals are only generous with the OTHER guy’s money.

  • Sis Delish

    Probably a good idea. Wouldn’t want the Libs in Oberlin to have to pay more out of THEIR pockets… LOL

  • Starryeyes

    What a concept. $10.10 on hour when you DESERVE it………….

  • Pablo Jones

    Those that voted against it probably wanted it higher. $15.15?

  • Pablo Jones

    “raising the minimum wage would not only benefit younger workers, but those who have held minimum-wage jobs for years”

    If a person was stuck at minimum wage for years, there is a good reason for it. My first job in high school washing dishes paid more than minimum wage. My friends that did take jobs that started at minimum wage within a couple months were making more than minimum wage.

  • stillsleepyeyes

    this article failed to mention this was for part time workers as it was stated in other papers………………….

    • TheRustyScupper

      I am sure your are not hinting the Liberal Chronicle would leave out important information to make a story appeal more to other Liberals? Would you? (After all, we only see such approx 4-5 times per week from the CT.)

  • Joe

    Why does every post have to turn to political muck? Not every Dem is left liberal and not every Rep is right wing. A bunch of talking heads. Everyone who is a no budge Liberal or no budge Conservative is what is wrong in this country right now.

    • SniperFire

      ‘Why does every post have to turn to political muck?’

      Because every story put out from the C-T is from a raging Leftwing perspective. We set the record straight by challenging the omissions of truth and outright lies, and Lefty’s head explodes. Hope that helps.