Mayor Vetoes City Council Wage Proposal

Ordinance threatens employment opportunities for hard working San Diegans

San Diego - Today Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer vetoed the City Council's wage proposal and released the following message:

San Diego is at its best when everyone has the opportunity to find employment and pursue the American Dream. I have vetoed City Council Ordinance O-2015-11 REV. because it threatens these opportunities, making it harder for San Diegans to find work.

Just like our own health, our local economy needs balance and moderation to flourish and prosper. This ordinance weakens San Diego's ability to create and retain jobs by putting heavier burdens on small businesses compared to nearby cities, permanently tipping the scales to the disadvantage of San Diegans seeking employment.

The timing and scope of this regulation willfully ignores recent legislation passed at the State Capitol. Local workers are already receiving a pay increase regardless of this ordinance; California workers will see a 25 percent raise over the next three years through a wage bill signed by Governor Brown. The City Council's proposed ordinance will add an increase on top of that - resulting in a combined 44 percent increase just in San Diego, with annual escalations every year in perpetuity that go well beyond the state's plan. This ordinance will create new costs unique to San Diego, jeopardizing small businesses and the hard working families they employ.

The family-owned grocery stores, mom-and-pop restaurants and neighborhood boutiques that San Diegans love will be hardest hit. Some large-scale chains are better equipped to absorb the added expense. It's the shops owned by our fellow San Diegans - the local success stories that bring our community pride - that are at risk. Add on top of that the chilling effect this could have on entrepreneurs who want to start a new business in San Diego.

The City Council's authority stops at the city limits, but the principles of economics do not. As job creators leave for other cities without anti-business legislation, San Diegans will be deprived of jobs and economic advancement. Unfortunately, the jobs this ordinance seeks to affect could be the first to disappear.

As Mayor, it is my job to cultivate an atmosphere that creates economic opportunities for all San Diegans. Working families and the small businesses that they power are the backbone of our economy, and City leaders should be doing everything they can to ensure they succeed.

This ordinance unfairly pits working families and our city against economic realities that will make it even harder for San Diego to thrive. I cannot support putting the brakes on our economy. I believe we can and must work together in unison - workers, businesses and government - to move San Diego forward.

CONTACT: Matt Awbrey or (619) 453-9913 or [email protected]