Don Schmidt is often considered the most conservative member of City Council.
I contacted Don Schmidt and John Shoaff (Still waiting to hear back from John Shoaff) and asked them both why they granted a tax abatement to a McDonalds franchise.
I specifically asked why they felt that it was ok to violate the wage rule and grant a tax abatement to a company paying less then 150% of Federal minimum wage. Don's answer is and I quote: "The 150% rule has been the criteria for the EDC people, however, I have personally always felt any job is better than no job and therefore I have never been too concerned about the wage scale."
Wow, and he is the most conservative member of City Council and cited by many as an expert on local politics...
The second question I asked is why they granted a tax abatement to a business that is already in operation rather then one that is considering an expansion or move to the area; his answer was and I quote "I would have to check further to see if the timing ( after the fact ) of this award was unusual. "
I have read through the rules and companies are supposed to submit paperwork for their tax abatement very early in the process. I think this rule has been broken before; however, tax abatements are intended to be granted BEFORE an expansion or move.