white noise

by Jordan Green

News and views from inside the media bubble


A story that largely slipped under the radar this week in the midst of the fraught public discussion over the use of federal recovery zone facility bonds to finance the planned downtown luxury hotel — hat tip to blogger Ed Cone for breaking the story on Monday that the council may have unwittingly approved the project already — was a citizen initiative to raise the citywide minimum wage in Greensboro to $9.82 per hour. This is group’s second attempt in about three years. The Guilford County Board of Elections found the number of signatures insufficient to meet a threshold of 25 percent of the total number of voters in the last municipal election at the time the initiative was registered. The city attorney has issued a legal opinion that municipalities lack the authority to set wages, and the new council is not expected to be particularly supportive of the initiative. Still, the Raise the Wage Committee plans to press forward. A Jan. 15 letter to supporters announces: “We are examining the disqualified signatures to see if some are actually valid — if only 12 percent of the signatures that were disqualified are actually valid, then we are back in business on the first issue. The disqualification rate is extraordinarily high, especially for the supplementary signatures we added in December, so we have some hope we will succeed in making the count.” — JG