A majority of the Urban County Council again Tuesday leapt at the opportunity to further delay a proposal for a local increase in the minimum wage that's been before them since March.
The ordinance would raise the minimum wage in Fayette County from $7.25 to $10.10 over three years.
The stated reason for the current delay is to wait until Mayor Jim Gray appoints a successor to 12th District Council Member Ed Lane, who died Aug. 2. Those who voted to put it off until Sept. 10 argued that the matter should not be discussed without 12th district representation.
With all due respect to the memory of Lane, who opposed the minimum wage increase, some of the objections just didn't ring true.
A majority of the council, including Lane, voted July 7 for the full council to have this public discussion today, August 20. That long advance notice gave people interested in the issue time to plan to be at city hall on a Thursday afternoon.
That's not easy for everyone, and particularly not for low-wage workers who would be affected, whose schedules are often erratic and less flexible. Council members who voted to cancel only two days before the meeting seemed deaf to this concern.
Gray must make his appointment to fill out Lane's term by Sept. 2, before the council would take a final vote on the proposal. Potential appointees could have attended today's meeting or watched it at any time on the city's web page to catch up and participate fully in the debate.
People who live in the 12th district can contact any council member to express their opinions, including the three at-large members elected by voters from the entire county. It is hard to make the case that the interests of the 12th district would have been somehow devalued without this delay.
No need to recount the long, tortured history of the proposal — which we support — but it's time for the council to quit delaying, take it up, discuss it in public and ultimately vote on it.
Workers and business owners deserve better than this from their elected representatives.