I am proud to have started a business in Portland and to have run it until 2015, when my daughter took over. This business, Hardypond Construction, is based on the principles of honesty and fairness, and we utilize practices such as profit sharing, great benefits and hiring a diverse workforce to achieve these goals. Hardypond Construction has always strived to do right by its employees – since they are the reason we’ve been a success story.

We are based in Portland and have been for more than 10 years, but more than half of our work takes place outside the city. This means we’ve paid a bit more in taxes than we would elsewhere, but we like Portland and it has been home since we moved to our current office and shop space in 2004. Portland has also treated us well and embraces small, local businesses like Hardypond.

Mayor Ethan Strimling’s proposed paid sick leave mandate changes all of that. Rather than employers deciding, with their workers, the benefits package that best suits the business, this mandate lifts the power right out of the hands of businesses like mine and places it instead in City Hall. The paid sick leave mandate would change how we run our business, and it wouldn’t allow us to treat our employees like family or with compassion in their times of need.

The proposed language of the mandate shows what happens when business leaders are not involved in making these types of decisions. The mandate is a one-size-fits-all policy that would uniquely disadvantage businesses like mine that work in so many different municipalities.

Portland has been home for us since 2004, but if the paid sick leave mandate passes, we would be forced to move our company to a surrounding city. I would imagine we are not the only ones.

Bob Gaudreau


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