County Commission Candidates Respond to the ACLC’s Questionnaire

While the ACLC does not endorse candidates, we do poll them to learn where they stand on issues that are important to our members. In May we began sending out questions regarding the Living Wage and access to health care to candidates at the local and state level. Below are the responses that we’ve received thus far. Needless to say, this election cycle will be an extremely important one for our community, our state, and our nation. We strongly encourage Labor Coalition members to familiarize themselves with the various candidates for office and to get involved in their campaigns.


We asked candidates for County Commission where they stand on our recent Living Wage victory and there was more or less consensus:

1. Do you support the 2016 Alachua County Minimum Wage Ordinance which set a standard wage for contracted employees?

*Mike Byerly: “I support it, and voted for it.”

*Chloe Goldbach: “Loopholes that allow contract employees of the county to paid less than minimum for county employees should not have existed in the first place so I therefore definitely support the minimum wage ordinance.”

*Captain Craig Herda: “I have yet to read the Ordinance, therefore I would not be able to comment at this time.”

*Robert “Hutch” Hutchinson: “YES, I encouraged the ordinance and voted for its passage. Furthermore, I am continuing to advocate for changes to compensation formulas that will reduce the widening gap between the top and bottom earners.”

*Kevin Thorpe: “ABSOLUTELY.”

2. Do you support paying all Alachua County Commission workers a living wage? This includes part-time, full-time, temporary, and contracted workers.

*Mike Byerly: “I support it, worked to weed out undermining exemptions, then voted for it.”

*Chloe Goldbach: “Yes, I do support paying all Alachua County Commission workers a living wage providing that this does not stop here and plans are put in place to eventually expand this towards paying living wages in the private sector as well. Everyone in the county should have access to a living wage.”

*Captain Craig Herda: “Yes, I do support paying workers for work done.  Everyone in this country needs to receive a “living wage”. However, I am also a proponent of Government representatives, if they already are financially secure, to serve their government without renumeration.  It should be a honor to perform your civic duty.”

*Robert “Hutch” Hutchinson: “YES, except for the very few exemptions which were made for valid reasons by the majority of the County Commission. We have a serious obstacle in raising all non-profit contractors to the Living Wage, but we must try.”

*Kevin Thorpe: “ABSOLUTELY.”

3. Do you support a phase-in to increase the County government’s minimum wage to 125% the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) by 2020, currently at $14.60 an hour?

*Mike Byerly: “I do support that goal, and will work towards it.”

*Chloe Goldbach: “Yes, I support this.”

*Captain Craig Herda: “Yes. We need to come in line with the Federal Guidelines for wages. And expanding on that, the wages need to be enough to sustain a living. But of course, no one should get “rich” off the government.”

*Robert “Hutch” Hutchinson: “YES, and the expensive part of this is not the cost of raising the lowest workers’ wages. Rather, it is dealing with the ripple effect of “wage compression” up the ranks.  Union leaders need to be part of the solution to this.”

*Kevin Thorpe: “ABSOLUTELY.”