PUBLIC COMMENT: Delay the minimum wage increase for struggling small businesses

Business owner Brett Latteri spoke during Public Comment about the implementation of the city’s minimum wage ordinance:

I’d like to spend my time here tonight asking for my top three requests: one) delay the July 1 implementation of the ordinance by six months until January 1st 2023 as suggested by Councilmember Horvath at the last meeting so that we the business community can partner with the city to address the remaining issues so this truly can be a positive thing for all parties involved; number two) incorporate a reasonable minimum and maximum CPI to the wage increases; number three) make all compensated leave sick time and remove the paid time off vacation pay provision.

The fiscal impact from this ordinance at full utilization is between $7,000 and $10,000 per employee per year. Once again $7,000 and $10,000 per year at full utilization. This is a tremendous amount of money to absorb. The hardship from COVID still exists and affects my business daily in a multitude of ways.

We have not recovered and are not currently able to handle these costs pre-COVID at the best of times. This would be a challenge and unsustainable for my business.

On a more personal note earlier in the meeting when I saw that insurance broker discuss the potential of the city having to fund and potentially absorb a $25 million payout, I saw a level of concern and thought on your faces of ‘How is the city going to afford this? It’s not in the budget. Where will the money come from?’ I’ve been feeling that way every hour of every day since November when this council created the MWO to my small business. This ordinance is that $25 million payout and I’m struggling to figure out where we are going to get the money to pay for it. Please please delay the July 1 implementation of this ordinance to January 1, 2023.

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Joshua88
Joshua88
1 month ago

What business does Mr Latteri operate?
Can you substantiate his claims?

Thank you.

Randy
Randy
1 month ago
Reply to  Joshua88

The Den on Sunset. I don’t think anyone can substantiate his claims, unless they can look at this books, or work at his establishment. This is a transcript of his public comment.

Joshua88
Joshua88
1 month ago
Reply to  Randy

Thank you, Randy.
I guess someone could run numbers on what an average 40-hour-per-week employee would cost x the amount of time he referenced.

Steve Martin
Steve Martin
1 month ago
Reply to  Joshua88

I guess after watching the Public Safety Commission’s discuss of the Sheriff, he decided he did not have to substantiate his numbers.
It certainly would have been helpful to a more sympathetic look at his request. Given the dire predictions of the Chamber, it was rather odd that he was one of the few small businesses who appeared or commented at the meeting on the minimum wage.

Brett
Brett
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve Martin

Steve I am happy to chat with you and explain how I arrived at these calculations.

Gimmeabreak
Gimmeabreak
1 month ago
Reply to  Brett

Do you know if any of the city council members have ever owned or managed a business or do you think they have any real understanding of what they are doing to businesses? What is it, do you think, is motivating them to do this?

Ignorance
Ignorance
1 month ago
Reply to  Gimmeabreak

Great questions you ask. Pontificating from the dais without knowledge is beyond disingenuous it is danderous. .

Ignorance
Ignorance
1 month ago
Reply to  Ignorance

While it may produce dander, the intended word was dangerous

Gimmeabreak
Gimmeabreak
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve Martin

How does the city council have the right to make such a decision for business owners, and what qualifications do they have to do so ….. or do they just choose random numbers?

Joshua88
Joshua88
1 month ago
Reply to  Gimmeabreak

They serve the people of WeHo, and the people have more numbers than business owners.

Gimmeabreak
Gimmeabreak
1 month ago
Reply to  Joshua88

Ya lost me!

Joshua88
Joshua88
1 month ago
Reply to  Gimmeabreak

Why? *What right do they have?* They were elected. More employees than employers.
???

Ignorance
Ignorance
1 month ago
Reply to  Joshua88

That is far from the point. Ethical behavior and decision making is the name of the task.

Joshua88
Joshua88
1 month ago
Reply to  Ignorance

What was unethical, if that is what you are implying?

They decided to help workers? I do not see a problem with that. Do you?

$700 + a week is not an exorbitant salary. Cost you at least two weeks salary for a one-bedroom rental. Or lately, for a 400sf studio.
50% of income is too much for anybody to pay for housing.

Gimmeabreak
Gimmeabreak
1 month ago
Reply to  Joshua88

The job pays what it’s worth to the employer. He shouldn’t have to consider what the employee’s expenses are, other than in the context of competition to get good workers. But the employee has to take into account the competition he has with other people who are willing to take the job at the wage the business owner is offering. There really is no place for government to have any say in this process.

SHEpocalypse
SHEpocalypse
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve Martin

Of course Mr Martin is going to shill for his union cronies reflexively like a dog smelling prime rib. Most small business owners do not have the time to wait to speak at 11pm in front of a council that bullies and dismisses them from dais as they dance for their donations. It is sickening situation for real residents.

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