Letter to the editor: Keep input on minimum wage issue coming
Summit County government deserves credit for actively seeking and including the perspectives of local workers in the minimum wage work group’s discussions, thereby allowing a larger and more fully representative set of individuals to influence the process. Hopefully, we’ve seen just the beginning of that effort and can trust that it will continue as community discussions progress.
Town governments engaging in internal discussions should be making their plans for obtaining and incorporating diverse input in order to avoid the possible homogeneity of ideology and of lived experience that would render such discussions incomplete and insufficiently representative of their full constituencies.
One viewpoint that is already adequately represented is the complete philosophical rejection of any and all government interference in wage determination. Another is that local residents are incapable of grasping the complexity of the issue and cannot be trusted with a ballot question. Certain industry-specific arguments also are extremely well-represented, and these arguments are naturally amplified when proponents have the advantage of multiple spheres of influence in which to advance them.
There are, of course, counter arguments to all of these, and the determination of how best to proceed with regard to the county’s newly-granted ability to consider setting a local minimum wage must involve equal weight and consideration being granted to them. This will not happen automatically when direct representation among decision-makers and influencers favors one side of the debate, and it is incumbent upon elected officials to ensure balance. What is at stake, quite simply, is the legitimacy of the process.
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