Dallas Council Salary Could Double Under New Amendment

DALLAS – Voters in Dallas may soon decide whether city council members should receive a substantial pay raise. On Wednesday, the Dallas City Council discussed a charter amendment proposal requiring voter approval to change their pay structure.

Currently, council members earn $60,000 annually, with no raise since 2014. The proposed amendment suggests doubling their salaries to $125,000, while the mayor would earn $145,000. This sparked a lively debate among council members.

Councilmember Carolyn King Arnold emphasized the need for fairness and equity, stating, “We want to be able to justify.” Jake Anderson from the Office of Government Affairs explained, “The commission felt that amount is sufficient for anyone to provide for themselves in Dallas, ensuring elected officials perform their duties full-time.”

However, some council members, including Omar Narvaez, expressed doubts about voter approval, saying, “I don’t see the voters saying, ‘You’re going to get double the money.’” Kathy Stewart proposed a more moderate increase to $80,000, aligned with the consumer price index.

Councilmember Paul Ridley opposed any raise, citing the city’s $38 million budget shortfall and the request for departmental budget cuts. “I think it comes at a bad time,” Ridley said. Other members highlighted the need to address pension funding for retired Dallas police and firefighters who haven’t seen a cost-of-living adjustment in eight years.

Despite differing views, most council members acknowledged their roles’ demanding nature. “I am not afraid to say we deserve more pay,” said Adam Bazaldua.

The committee tabled the discussion, with the full council set to vote on June 26. Voters will have the final say on the charter amendment in November.

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