Voters in McCall decided to turn down an effort to raise the city's minimum wage from the current statewide minimum of $7.25 to $10.25 percent hour by January 2018.
The initiative would have made McCall the first community in Idaho to buck the state's minimum wage, but the initiative failed by a margin of 53 percent to 47 percent.
A number of McCall business owners openly criticized the effort. Last week's McCall Star-News reported
Lauri Strandell, owner of McCall's Steamers Restaurant, considered the initiative to be a "government mandate," adding, "I really don't want to be told what to do by a misinformed public vote."
Bob Hunt, who owns two inns in the resort community—the Super 8 Lodge and America's Best Value Inn—told the Star-News
if the measure passed, he would have considered selling his businesses.
"I won't stay in business to break even," Hunt said.
Proponents of the unsuccessful initiative insisted raising the minimum wage in McCall was more a "values discussion."
"How do we value our community?" asked University of Idaho Political Science professor Brian Ellison.