This week, Dallas County commissioners reversed course from their last meeting and voted to give elected officials a four percent salary increase after all.
The salary increase passed 2-0 with three abstentions.
Commissioners Theresa Daniel and John Wiley Price voted for the salary increase, while Judge Clay Jenkins and Commissioners J.J. Koch and Elba Garcia all abstained.
County Judge Jenkins introduced the motion to reconsider the salary increase for all elected officials, not just those who presented a grievance.
“Everyone has the right, if they share the belief…that they shouldn’t give themselves a raise, then they can refuse the raise as I plan to do.”
Commissioners Koch and Garcia also stated they plan to decline the pay raise.
Daniel and Price both appeared before the committee requesting a salary increase. According to the Texas Association of Counties in 2018, Dallas County commissioners were paid in the range of $126,000 – $158,000 per year in addition to a car allowance.
Garcia said, ”I can’t go in good faith against the [committee] because of the inequality the decision would create and having longer-serving officials getting paid less than some of the newly elected officials.”
“I’m disappointed in the result. It could have gone better for the taxpayer,” Koch said, while suggesting in the future a consumer price index (CPI) style calculation be used for salary increases.
A Salary Grievance Committee was constituted after Dallas County elected officials wished to appeal the commissioners court decision in August to reject a pay increase. Fourteen elected officials appeared before the grievance committee last Friday to argue that they needed a pay raise.
The nine-member panel voted by a majority in every instance to grant the salary increases to the elected officials.
According to the law governing the Salary Grievance committee, if the recommendation was passed by at least six votes, it must be sent to the Dallas County Commissioners Court for a vote.
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Kim Roberts is a reporter for the Texan in the DFW metroplex area where she has lived for over twenty years. She has a Juris Doctor from Baylor University Law School and a Bachelor's in government from Angelo State University. In her free time, Kim home schools her daughter and coaches high school extemporaneous speaking and apologetics. She has been happily married to her husband for 23 years, has three wonderful children, and two dogs.