Suffredin- Changing County Government  
 

Accountability
Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions
Unsung Heroine

 

   
 
   
   
 
   
     
  Office phone numbers:  
   
 
 

Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.

   
 

The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.

   
  Last year more people used the County's forest preserves than visited Yellowstone National Park.
   
     
     
     



A year after opting out of Cook County minimum wage ordinance, Wilmette opts in

Thursday, June 28, 2018
Chicago Tribune
by Brian l. Cox

 

Wilmette minimum wage

Brian L. Cox / Pioneer Press
The Wilmette village board on June 26, 2018, voted to opt-in to a controversial Cook County ordinance that will increases the minimum wage. Board president, Bob Bielinski is pictured during the meeting.
The Wilmette village board on June 26, 2018, voted to opt-in to a controversial Cook County ordinance that will increases the minimum wage. Board president, Bob Bielinski is pictured during the meeting. (Brian L. Cox / Pioneer Press)

 

 

A year after it voted to opt out of a controversial Cook County ordinance increasing the minimum wage, The Wilmette Village Board recently did an about face with its vote to opt into the ordinance that will see the minimum wage in the village climb to $13 an hour by July 2020.

At the same time, the board during its Tuesday meeting, voted to continue to opt out of a Cook County paid sick leave ordinance that requires employers to provide one hour of paid sick leave for each 40 hours of work to any employee who works at least 80 hours.

“I can support minimum wage because the minimum wage of $8.25 is too low and hasn’t been increased in eight years,” said trustee Kathy Dodd, who voted for the minimum wage ordinance but against the paid sick leave law. “I do believe our workers in this community deserve more.

“I do believe that markets drive salaries. Given that many of our neighboring communities have opted into this, is why I’m also in support of this. However, I am cautious. I hear what the business community says.”

Indeed many business owners in the village and the chamber of commerce have complained that the minimum wage ordinance will place financial hardship on small businesses at a time when they are already feeling competitive pressures from online retailers and big box stores. But others in support of the wage increase said it is long overdue and that workers cannot survive on the current minimum wage of $8.25 an hour.

When asked by board president Bob Bielinski for a show of hands indicating who was against the wage increase, about half of the more than 150 people who turned out for the Tuesday board meeting said they were opposed to it, while the other half said they were there in support of the ordinance. Many also addressed the board in support of their various positions on the ordinances during the six-hour meeting.

Bielinski said he was voting against both the wage increase and paid sick leave ordinances because he believes the county did not have the legal authority to pass them into law in the first place. He also said the wage increase will likely hurt small businesses in the village.

“We’re a very small business community,” he said. “Our local businesses are primarily small family-owned businesses.

“Small-town retail businesses have never felt more competitive pressure than they do today. People compete with Costco. They compete with Walmart. These issues have made even survival difficult for small retailers. A small retailer in Wilmette’s not getting rich, OK.”

In its 5 to 2 vote opting into the county ordinance increasing the minimum wage, the Wilmette board did make some amendments, including delaying the effective date in Wilmette until Oct. 1, 2018. It also added that the opt-in would sunset in the event the county or the state of Illinois increases the minimum wage, in which case Wilmette would then revert to the state minimum wage.

“I think that the amendments that we voted on will give us some protection so that it’s reined in a little bit, so that if it starts to be detrimental to businesses there’s some control,” said trustee Julie Wolf, who voted for the wage increase.

She also said she would not vote for the paid sick leave ordinance, which the board rejected by a 6 to 1 vote.

“I also feel, especially after talking to some of the business owners, that at this point I really would not support the sick pay,” she said. “I think the record keeping and all that are just onerous at this point and I feel that there are some inconsistencies statewide.”

Shortly after the village board voted against adopting the two county ordinances last summer, the village appointed a “working group” to study the issues and to collected input from the community. Among the findings in the final 436-page report was state employment data showing that 20 percent of workers in Wilmette are considered low-wage earners, making $1,250 or less a month and a survey of Wilmette businesses found that 54 percent oppose the minimum wage ordinance, and 57 percent opposed the paid sick time ordinance. The survey also found that 66 percent of residents support the minimum wage ordinance.

All the board members agreed that the minimum wage and paid sick leave issues should be decided by the state or federal governments and not left to individual municipal governments.

“There’s a better way,” Bielinski said. “A statewide increase in the minimum wage. A statewide paid sick leave mandate that have all communities and all businesses governed by the same laws instead of the patchwork approach that’s been created by the county’s ordinances.

“I am in favor, as I believe all my colleges have said, of a statewide increase in the minimum wage,” he added.

Brian L. Cox is a freelancer.



    Recent Headlines

    Preckwinkle, Evans end budget battle
    Wednesday, July 18, 2018
    Crain's Chicago Business

    Troubled detainee at center of unusual court fight between Loyola hospital, Cook County
    Monday, July 16, 2018
    Chicago Tribune

    Cook County Commissioners Confounded by Hiring of Health System Consultant
    Monday, July 16, 2018
    WBEZ Chicago Public Radio

    Doctor fired by Cook County medical examiner now under the microscope in Indiana
    Sunday, July 15, 2018
    Chicago Sun-Times

    County officials defend Forest Preserves police in wake of man harassing woman over Puerto Rican flag shirt
    Friday, July 13, 2018
    Chicago Tribune

    Familiar questions about ‘bystander effect’ arise after man berates woman for Puerto Rico shirt
    Friday, July 13, 2018
    Chicago Tribune

    Berrios' analysts used Zillow, other shortcuts in assessing property values, documents show
    Friday, July 13, 2018
    Chicago Tribune

    Northbrook to revisit Cook County paid sick leave policy after opting out last year
    Friday, July 13, 2018
    Chicago Tribune

    Cook County Forest Preserves officials discuss officer's resignation
    Friday, July 13, 2018
    Chicago Tribune

    Amid video fallout, Cook County Forest Preserve District reveals fatal crash involving worker and governmental truck
    Friday, July 13, 2018
    Chicago Tribune

    Transformation in the outdoors
    Friday, July 13, 2018
    Special to suffredin.org

    Forest preserve cop resigns after apparently failing to help woman being harassed over Puerto Rico shirt
    Thursday, July 12, 2018
    Chicago Tribune

    5 things: A civics lesson on Puerto Rico after man rants about woman's flag T-shirt, questions citizenship
    Thursday, July 12, 2018
    Chicago Tribune

    Cook County Commissioners: Get Rid of Forest Preserve Police
    Thursday, July 12, 2018
    WTTW Chicago Tonight

    Schneider wants hearing over fatal crash blamed on Cook forest preserve driver
    Thursday, July 12, 2018
    Daily Herald

    Man who harassed woman for Puerto Rican flag shirt charged with hate crime
    Thursday, July 12, 2018
    WLS ABC 7 Chicago

    EDITORIAL: A judge drops a gun on a courthouse floor. So much for respect for the law
    Thursday, July 12, 2018
    Chicago Sun-Times

    Forest preserve officer who didn't help woman in Puerto Rican flag shirt 'tarnished the whole department,' commissioner says
    Thursday, July 12, 2018
    Chicago Tribune

    Preckwinkle apologizes to woman berated by man at forest preserve for wearing Puerto Rican flag shirt
    Tuesday, July 10, 2018
    Chicago Tribune

    Video appears to show forest preserves officer failing to help woman being harassed for wearing shirt with Puerto Rican flag design
    Tuesday, July 10, 2018
    Chicago Tribune

    all news items

    Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.
    ^ TOP