Poughkeepsie common council overrides minimum wage veto


POUGHKEEPSIE – By a six-to-one vote with one abstention, the Poughkeepsie Common Council Monday night voted to override Mayor John Tkazyik’s veto of a resolution in support of increasing the minimum wage for fast food workers beyond the current $8.75 per hour.
Alderman Randall Johnson and Lee Klein questioned a raise saying it would force companies to cut back on staff. Both men said the positions are good entry level jobs for high school and college students.
Republican Klein was the only lawmaker to vote against overriding the Republican mayor’s veto. Democrat Johnson abstained.
Council Chairman Christopher Petsas, a Democrat, gave an impassioned plea to override.
“Let’s say you are working 40 hours at the local McDonald’s,” Petsas speculated.  “Let’s say you are not a high school student. Let’s say you are a single parent trying to provide and you are bring home $350, after taxes, $280. Times that times four and you are bringing home $1,120 a month. You paying $700 in rent, $100 in lights, you are paying $300 for food. There is $1,100; you have $20 left over at the end of the month to do what with. You don’t have a car because you can’t afford one. You can’t put gas in a car because you don’t have a car. You don’t have a phone. You have no money in the bank.”  
The proposed state increase in minimum wage for fast food workers would raise it to $15 per hour after seven years.