John Ahern, a former Republican state representative, said that Spokane City Council President Ben Stuckart has stated that he intends to implement a $15-an-hour minimum wage on the city, not unlike the one being implemented in Seattle.
“Spokane already has an unfriendly business environment and is losing business growth,” said Ahern, who is challenging Stuckart for reelection.
So does Stuckart, or anyone else on the council, have plans in the works for a $15 minimum wage?
“No one is working on it,” says Stuckart. “And I don’t think the $15 minimum wage is appropriate. I believe honestly that $15 is too high for Spokane.”
Last week, Adam McDaniel, Stuckart’s assistant, sent out an email to the six other members of the council and its policy advisor inquiring if they were working on a $15 minimum wage ordinance. He forwarded the Inlander
“I think Karen’s head would explode if someone’s working on it,” replied Skyler Oberst, legislative assistant to Councilwoman Karen Stratton. “We’ve been fielding calls about this a lot :/”
“To date, no council member or legislative assistant of any council member has asked me to research or draft any kind of minimum wage proposal,” replied Brian McClatchey, the council’s policy advisor.
“Haven’t even looked into it at this point,” wrote Blaine Stum, legislative assistant to Councilman Jon Snyder.
“Ah, no,” replied Councilman Mike Allen.
Legislative assistants for Councilwomen Candace Mumm and Amber Waldref also denied working on it.
The only person who didn’t respond is Councilman Mike Fagan, the council’s arch-conservative. Is he secretly working on a $15 minimum wage ordinance? Is he secretly forming an alliance with Kshama Sawant
, Seattle's socialist member of that city's council, who championed the city's $15 minimum wage law? The Inlander
decided to investigate after the council meeting wrapped up.
“What the hell would I be doing with a $15 minimum wage?” scoffed Fagan when asked if he was working on the issue.