Tucson voters to decide minimum wage, council seats and a pay hike for city leaders
Voters in Tucson will receive ballots in the mail starting in early October to take three seats on city council, decide to raise the minimum wage, and choose whether or not to give a pay raise to city councilors as well as to the city council. mayor.
If voters approve Proposition 206, the minimum wage in Tucson will drop from the current level of $ 12.15 an hour to $ 15 an hour each year in 2025.
Supporters argue it would help workers cope with the rising cost of living in the city.
“I should be working 50 hours a week just to cover my basic living expenses,” said Daniella, 23, describing her finances below the current minimum wage. “It’s not super doable.”
But Mat Cable, owner of Fresco Pizzeria and investor in other restaurants, said the higher minimum wage would be a blow to his business.
“It’s a bad time because right now our food costs are just at record highs,” he said.
The proposal does not just increase the minimum wage. It also requires large employers to pay a minimum of three hours ‘wages when they reduce or cancel an employee’s shift with less than 24 hours’ notice. The proposal would prohibit employers, owners, supervisors or managers from taking money in a tip-pooling agreement, such as in a restaurant. And the proposal also creates a new labor standards department to enforce wage laws.
The annual salary of city councilors is less than that of a person earning $ 15 an hour.
Proposal 410 would give city council and the mayor a pay raise – but only after completing their current term.
City council put the proposal on the ballot and the measure would increase the annual salary of council members from $ 24,000 to $ 36,000. The mayor’s salary would also drop from $ 42,000 to $ 54,000.
The increases would not take effect until December 2023, after the next municipal elections.
Wages would then increase each year based on the consumer price index.
However, Tucson voters have rejected similar proposals for increases in the past, and the council has not secured a raise since 1999.
Sarah Garrecht Gassen, editor of the Arizona Daily Star’s editorial page, said Proposition 410 may have a better chance than such previous measures because it does not increase the salary of the current board.
But she admitted that it’s still a tough sell.
“You could be Superman on city council now, and you won’t get a voter to give you a raise,” Garrecht Gassen said.
Dylan Smith, editor of The Tucson Sentinel, said low pay is one reason the remainder of the ballot is relatively sparse.
“That’s part of why we always have these elections where hardly anyone shows up,” Smith said.
Voters will choose council members from wards 3, 5 and 6. But Republicans present a candidate in only one of the three wards.
Republican Alan Harwell shows up in Ward 3, which Democrat Karen Uhlich is leaving.
Harwell has run on ideas such as opposing “critical race theory,” even though city council does not set education policy, Smith said.
Democratic candidate Kevin Dahl is a longtime conservationist in southern Arizona.
Lucy LiBosha, a local educator, presents herself as independent to Dahl’s left.
Elsewhere, Democratic city councilor Steve Kozachik is running for re-election. He faces off against independent and local restaurateur Val Romero.
And the member of the Democratic council Richard Fimbres is running for his re-election without opposition.
October 4: Deadline for voter registration.
October 6: The ballots are mailed.
October 11: A polling station will open at 800 E. 12th St. from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. until Election Day. Here, electors can cast a ballot, vote their ballot, request a replacement ballot, or ask for help.
October 22: On the last day, the city clerk may post replacement ballots.
October 27: Last day for voters to return their ballots. Ballots can be dropped off at a polling station on polling day.
November 2: Election day.