Akron City Councilwoman Tara Samples says she thinks the City ought to pay even seasonal and part time employees the new $15 dollar minimum wage recently announced by Mayor Dan Horrigan. (See press release below).
But, when she talked to Jeanne Destro about it on the air this morning; the conversation expanded to include a lot more topics of concern, like blighted neighborhoods, abandoned homes, gun violence, home surveillance cameras, and why it takes so long for the city to fix uneven sidewalks.
Her advice; speak up, talk to City Council, and get your voice heard!
Find out how, listen now.
Tara Samples, press release, Sept. 10, 2021
AKRON, OH -- Today, in response to Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan’s announcement of new family-freindly benefits for the city’s workforce, Ward 5 Councilwoman Tara L. Mosley Samples released the following statement:
“I commend the Mayor on his Family-Friendly Benefits for the City Workforce and stress the importance of these policies in ensuring local government enables workers to not only survive, but truly thrive in our city. As I’ve listened to workers, I’ve seen firsthand how urgently they need support, which is why I encourage the Mayor to further expand on these policies by enacting additional measures to create the bold, family-friendly agenda Akronites deserve. It is imperative that we as a City and as a Council address the issues in our neighborhoods expeditiously to foster population growth, instead of crime. I look forward to continuing to work alongside Mayor Horrigan, my colleagues in the City Council, advocacy organizations and community leaders to ensure those we serve are best supported within Akron’s communities.”
These new policies enacted by Mayor Horrigan include increasing the COA minimum wage for many COA employees, but does not go so far as to include interns for the COA. Currently, the COA needs to compete with other municipalities in regards to internships.
Councilwoman Mosley Samples, who has been a long-time and vocal advocate for a COA minimum increase, stands with many local leaders, advocacy groups and community members in the belief that in order for Akron to attract new and young talent, we must first start with a livable wage. A foundational principle of this pro-worker agenda is recognizing that policies like $15.00 an hour are the floor not the ceiling with a minimum wage increase having a crucial impact on City employees.
According to the City of Akron’s Department of Human Resources, there are the following number of COA employees:
• Seasonal Employees - 269
• Interns - 6
• P/T Employees - 279
• F/T Employees - 1722
*Numbers and counts are subject to change.
The COA Department of Human Resources 143 COA employees make under $15.00 an hour. The breakdown is as follows:
Amount Number of Employees Type of Job
$7.50 5 Tipped Worker
$10.94 10 Intern
$12.06 105 Recreation Specialists
$12.62 8 College Interns
$12.83 6 Planning Commissioners
$13.10 5 Board of Zoning Appeals Commissioners
$13.17 2 Recreation Leader
$13.75 1 Recreation Leader
$14.35 1 Law Clerk
Further, according to the COA Department of Human Resources, currently 37 City of Akron employees and 12 qualified dependents are taking classes for fall semester 2021 at Stark State College through the COA (City of Akron’s) Workforce Development Program.
This next step is crucial in ensuring that the COA uses the American Rescue Plan dollars in our neighborhoods, which is why Mosley Samples has requested draft legislation that 10% of those ARP dollars be spread equally through the 10 Ward councilmembers. This will allow local leaders to have the resources needed to adequately address the sometimes unnoticed issues that plague constituents in our respective Wards. A few of these urgent issues include: crime, blight, vacant homes, failing sidewalks, nonprofit assistance, small business growth and assistance.