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.
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.