Monday, April 12, 2010

A proposal for Dallas City Council pay

I have often wrote that in order to have a decent public school educational system, we need to have decent public school educators. And the only way to get decent educators is to offer them salaries that would make the profession attractive. The way to invest in our children properly is to invest in those who compel our children to learn.

I bring this up right now because I went from being amused about Dallas City Council member Tennell Atkins's proposal to raise the salary of council members to being angry about it after I wrote yesterday's missive. There is absolutely no justification for a Dallas City Council member to make twice the salary of a well qualified teacher in the DISD.

According to this, the average pay for a math teacher in Dallas is $42,000. A Dallas City Council member should not make more than that, which means council pay should stay right where it is right now.

But here's a proposal that might fly. It is based on the theory that the more experience a council member has, the more valuable he becomes. (OK, it is only a theory and rarely a fact, but let's just go with the theory for the sake of this proposal). Keep the starting salary of council members at $35,000 but grant a 10 per cent increase each time the council member is re-elected. That means by the time the council person is in his or her final term, their salary would be $46,585.

On top of that, I'm willing to add another 10 percent to a council's base salary for every year the council person serves as mayor pro temp, and 5 percent for being deputy mayor pro temp. That means a council member in his or her fourth or final term who is mayor pro temp can make over $50,000 that year. I will also add 3 percent for being chair of a council committee and 1 percent for being a vice chair,.

I think that's fair and I think it's an idea that might meet the approval of Dallas voters.

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