Here are my experiences as a minimum-wage server, at $8 per hour:

In 2007, my wife and I wanted to see other parts of the U.S. Our daughter had just moved out of the house and we had never traveled west of Chicago. A co-worker had friends in Vancouver, Washington, who helped us find a place to stay when we relocated.

Locals told us that landing a job on the Columbia River waterfront would be a great match for our restaurant industry backgrounds. Having the experience we did, along with references to back us up, it was easy to get work. But nothing could have prepared us for the decline in income. We thought that an $8-per-hour base wage was amazing at first, but we quickly saw the low percentages of tips. And, after one month of living in Washington, we started depleting our savings just to pay our rent.

We packed our bags and headed to San Diego, California. There, our restaurant jobs had the same hourly pay, but represented a more traveled place. We thought it would be better, but no, it was exactly the same.

Now, here we are back home on the East Coast, living in an amazing community with incredible opportunities. Yet non-industry organizations with out-of-state interests are trying to change our way of life and our way of doing business, based on misguided ideologies.

From landlords to lobstermen, everyone is going to suffer if the tip credit isn’t reinstated. Save us service workers, save our restaurants and, please, save our state.

Terry Hultzen

Bar Harbor