Swallow hard, Fort Worth residents, if you intend to grant your city council the pay increase it is asking of you.
To be crystal clear, I don’t have a dog in that hunt, given that I live a couple of counties over, in Collin County. But, dang! That’s a hefty raise to accept. Voters will get the chance on May 7 to decide if their council members and mayor deserve what they’re asking.
Here’s the deal: Council members would get a bump from $25,000 annually to $76,000; the mayor’s salary would jump from $29,000 a year to $99,000.
Say it with me: Wow!
Newly installed Mayor Mattie Parker said the council has earned the big boost. “We want to serve well on behalf of the people of Fort Worth, the fastest-growing city in the country,” Parker said at Tuesday night’s council meeting. “I think we’re worth it, frankly.”
Parker believes that Fort Worth’s elected body deserves to be more on a par with neighboring Dallas, where the mayor earns $80,000 annually; council members earn $60,000 per year.
Fort Worth tried to boost the council’s pay in 2016, but voters rejected that measure. I don’t know what Cowtown’s residents are thinking today, except that they might be mirroring much of the discontent with government at all levels and, thus, could be reluctant to grant such a huge pay increase.
I remember a couple of years ago when Rockwall County commissioners granted themselves a gigantic pay increase while limiting raises for county employees to a fraction of what commissioners got for themselves.
What’s more, I moved to Collin County three years ago from Amarillo. Do you know how much that city’s council earns? Ten bucks per meeting! Plus expenses if they travel somewhere representing the city. I will add that Amarillo is a city of more than 200,000 residents, so it ain’t exactly what you would call a “tiny burg.”
It’s fair to ask whether Fort Worth’s municipal work force is going to see a significant pay increase, too, while the politicians at the top rake in the kind of dough they’re asking voters to give them.
Fort Worth city council puts pay raises on the May ballot | wfaa.com
What might be a better alternative? Perhaps an incremental raise would do the job, raising council members’ salaries a little at a time.
This all-at-once approach seems a bit too much to swallow.