Tag Archives: Fort Worth City Council

Not this much, city council

When has anyone in real life ever gotten a 200%-plus pay increase all at once? Umm. No one?

Thus, it shouldn’t surprise anyone — I was not surprise, for sure — to see Fort Worth voters nix a proposed monstrous pay increase for their mayor and city council members.

According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram:

The mayor makes $29,000 annually and individual council members make $25,000.

The proposition would have tied the mayor’s pay to half the average salary of department heads and the council members’ to half the average of the city assistant department heads. That comes out to $99,653 for the mayor, a 244% increase. The pay for council members would be $76,727, an increase of 207%.

Can I hear an “eek!”?

Fort Worth voters say no to pay raise for mayor, City Council members (msn.com)

Mayor Mattie Parker said she deserves to be paid more than the current amount. I am not going to pass judgment on that assertion. All I can say with some degree of confidence is that Fort Worth voters more than likely were in no mood to shell out that kind of an increase when they are struggling to pay more for practically everything they purchase.

And they aren’t getting a huge pay raise to lighten their load.


That would be some pay raise!

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.


AQHA gets an offer for a new home

Well now, it turns out I’m a bit slow on the uptake … which isn’t too much of a surprise. My critics accuse me of such things on occasion.

The Fort Worth City Council has approved a 50-year lease that could portend a relocation of the American Quarter Horse Association Museum from Amarillo to Fort Worth.

Hmm. What do you know about that? It turns out my Fort Worth pal was right when he sent me that message, that a move might be in the works. And it further cements the reason for the petition drive launched by Amarillo Mayor Ginger Nelson to try to persuade AQHA to stay put, to remain where it has called home for 70 years.

I hope the petition drive succeeds and that the AQHA board feels the love that it has enjoyed in the Texas Panhandle for all that time.

However, major cities such as Fort Worth don’t approve 50-year lease agreements without some confidence that the move will bear fruit.

AQHA officials say the “ground lease” does not guarantee a move is imminent. They note that that fundraising efforts in Fort Worth have accelerated. They also express appreciation for their “Amarillo employees” who have worked to make the AQHA museum such an integral part of the community.

OK. So the die isn’t cast. At least not yet.

I wish I felt better about Amarillo’s role in the AQHA future. I am trying to remain optimistic that AQHA will stay put.

However, at the moment it is a serious struggle.

Ex-Fort Worth police chief wants his old job? Why?

Joel Fitzgerald’s story out of Fort Worth makes my head spin.

He once served as police chief of the Cow Town police department, then he got fired. Now he wants his old job back and is suing the City Council to return to the police department. It’s a request that, to be candid, boggles my noggin.

The council cited sorry relationships the chief had with council members and other senior administrators. So, they issued a vote of no confidence in the job Chief Fitzgerald was doing. Then they fired him.

So, why does a big-city law enforcement officer, one with a good record of accomplishment along the way to the Fort Worth job, want to return to the turmoil he left behind when he got canned?

I don’t know many of the particulars of this parting of the ways. I just find it strange in the extreme that a one-time top cop would seek to return to a job that his bosses determined he was not doing adequately in the first place.

Go … figure.