I’m a restaurant owner in Maine. I’m a liberal-minded Democrat and I voted “yes” on Question 4 last year, with a heavy heart.

I knew that every member of my staff was against the removal of the tip credit. Because my staff, and the vast majority of the hundreds of restaurant employees I’ve spoken with on this subject, are against the removal of the tip credit, I would have liked to have voted against it as well.

Unfortunately, to vote against the removal of the tip credit would have meant that I also would have been forced to vote against increasing the minimum wage for the entire state of Maine.

As an inarguable fact, I submit that I, and anyone else who was in my position, are proof that an individual could be for one part of Question 4 while being against another. Because of this glaring potential conflict of interest, it was inherently a flawed question.

While I voted “yes,” I know plenty of people who felt the same way but voted “no.” Nobody was right and nobody was wrong. It was a no-win situation for us all.

That being said, it is this reason why there is currently a massive grass-roots campaign among the employees in the service industry to change the outcome of the referendum, specifically as it applies to the second part of Question 4. The movement is not an attempt to undermine the system; it is an attempt to show that Question 4 was an unfair question to begin with.

The grass-roots group Restaurant Workers of Maine does not have any funding and is not politically affiliated. It simply is trying to lend a voice to those in the industry who are tired of being spoken for.

Garrett FitzGerald

Bar Harbor Lobster Co.

Bar Harbor