Dallas County Commissioners Want 8 Percent Pay Raise, Thanks to Property Tax Windfall

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John Wiley Price's Home at 406 E. 5th Street in North Oak Cliff
John Wiley Price’s Home in North Oak Cliff

Get out the smelling salts, you surely are going to faint: Dallas County Commissioners, SOME Dallas County Commissioners, are asking for an 8% pay raise, netting them $157,000 a year (up from $145,474 currently) because the county is flush with money from the property taxes we are all paying through the nose for, thanks to our beefed up values. They are also asking for pay raises for county judges, sheriffs, tax assessor, treasurer, constables, district clerks, county clerks and justices of the peace.

I am just amazed. And guess who says he needs it the most because he works so hard, seven days a week?

Commissioner John Wiley Price, the one Commissioner accused of taking bribes from county contractors, who is facing a federal corruption trial in February, and whose legal defense counsel the state is paying for (he must contribute $80,000) because he “couldn’t afford it.” The DCAD market value on Price’s North Oak Cliff home is $169, 420. He pays $4645.22 in total taxes, $428.80 to Dallas County.

(Price has denied the corruption charges. The FBI surprise raided his home in June of 2011.)

“I work seven days a week,” Price said. “I’ll put my work ethic up against any of my colleagues, here or anywhere else.”

This is just so typical, the way government largess works: they get more money, and whose pockets get lined first?

How about returning it to the taxpayer?

Or what about so many other things that could be done with that money besides fattening one’s own bank account? How selfish can these people be when there are thousands of homeless people in Dallas, including 3600 children?

Who else can have a job where they can vote themselves a raise and stick their hand in the cookie jar anytime they fancy?

Answer: a Dallas County Commissioner.

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins has a brain, and a heart:

“Obviously, the average person out there on the street is not getting an 8 percent pay raise,” said County Judge Clay Jenkins, who opposes the raises. “That’s one of the reasons I’m not supporting this in the midst of this high tax increase.”

As does Elba Garcia (also a fantastic home):

Commissioner Elba Garcia said she would support the 8 percent raises for the staff only. She doesn’t think elected officials should get a raise at all, or even be allowed to raise their own salaries without voters having a say. She has declined to accept her car allowance and raises in past years, and as a result is paid $20,000 less per year than her colleagues.

“Everybody, when they run, they know exactly how much they’re going to make,” Garcia said. “When you are getting paid from public funds, the public should have an input.”

Mike Cantrell, the only Republican Commissioner, disappoints. Says he supports a “3 percent raises for everyone, including elected officials, who “work just like the employees do.” While Cantrell said he wouldn’t vote for the 8 percent raises, he’d accept the money if it passed.” Then he got kind of snotty:

But Cantrell countered that not everyone on the court can afford the same luxuries as Garcia, who is a practicing dentist and is married to Domingo Garcia, a prominent lawyer.

“Some of us aren’t multi-millionaires,” Cantrell said. “Some of us, this is their job.”

Well guess what. You had the same opportunities that the Garcias had. They went to law school (3 years) and dental school (4 years), and worked hard to obtain post graduate level degrees. They also worked hard and kept noses to the academic grindstone in order to get into law school and dental school in the first place.

Sorry, but it enrages me when public servants fail to recognize the hard work that lands some people in a luxurious life style. Often it takes many sacrifices, over many years, beginning at an early age. Mike Cantrell is an SMU-educated lawyer.  So what’s his beef?

This is why home buyers try their hardest to keep their homes off DCAD.

I have suggested that maybe it’s time for a Tea Party in the Trinity.

Suggestion: sent this post to your County Commissioner via snail mail or email. Tell them NO!

Dr. Theresa Daniel – Commissioner District 1

Theresa.Daniel@dallascounty.org

411 Elm Street • Administration Building • 2nd Floor • Dallas, Texas 75202 • Phone: 214-653-6668 • Fax: 214-653-7057

Road and Bridge Office • 715 Rowlett Road, Garland, Texas 75040

Mike Cantrell – Commissioner District 2

Mike.Cantrell@dallascounty.org

411 Elm Street • Administration Building • 2nd Floor • Dallas, Texas 75202 • Phone: 214-589-7060 • Fax: 214-962-5799

1701 N. Collins Blvd Suite 1000 Richardson, Texas 75080

John Wiley Price – Commissioner District 3

(what IS his email?)

411 Elm Street • Administration Building • 2nd Floor • Dallas, Texas 75202

Staff:

Daphney Fain (Dapheny.fain@dallascounty.org)

Chief of Staff
Vincent Hall – Administrative Assistant
Cynthia Wilson (Cynthia.wilson@dallascounty.org)

Administrative Assistant L’Wanna Osborne (L’wanna.Osborne@dallascounty.org)

Administrative Assistant
Roger Miller (Roger.miller@dallascounty.org)

Road Superintendent
Cartricee Washington (cartricee.washington@dallascounty.org)

Office Manager
Harold Dixon (Harold.dixon@dallascounty.org)

Road Foreman
Steven Mize (Steven.mize@dallascounty.org)

Dr. Elba Garcia – Commissioner District  4

Elba.GarciaDDS@dallascounty.org

411 Elm Street • Administration Building • 2nd Floor • Dallas, Texas 75202 (214) 653-6670 Office (214) 653-7994 Fax

District Office -4403 W. Illinois Ave- Dallas, Texas 75211 (214) 339-8381 Office (214) 337-9558 Fax

 

mm

Candy Evans

A real estate muckraker, Candy Evans is one of the nation’s leading real estate reporters. She is also the North Texas real estate editor for Forbes.com, CultureMap Dallas, Modern Luxury Dallas, & the Katy Trail Weekly. Candy has written for Joel Kotkin’s The New Geography, Inman Real Estate News, plus a host of national sites. Constantly breaking celebrity real estate news, she scooped former president George W. Bush's Dallas home in 2008. She is the founder and publisher of her signature CandysDirt.com, and SecondShelters.com, devoted to the vacation home market. Her verticals have won many awards, including Best Blog by the venerable National Association of Real Estate Editors, one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious journalism associations. Candy holds an active Texas real estate license but does not sell. She is on the Board of Directors of Braemar Hotels & Resorts (BHR).

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Jon Anderson says

    You get what you pay for (JW Price aside). In 2014, salaries for Dallas City Councillors were raised to $60,000 from $37,500. What kind of quality do you get with that kind of money? Little. It’s either rich people’s hobby or people who think $60K is a salary bump. Not to disparage, but to be one of 14 people who approve the plans and ordinances that run the city of Dallas, $60K is a joke. The last time I earned $60K I was in my late 20s and $37.5 was an entry-level salary just out of college. While I’m not rich enough to run for city council as a hobbyist, perhaps I should be looking at being a County Commissioner with a real salary.

    • mmCandy Evans says

      Please do! But Jon, honestly, I think we had better Councillors when less money was paid. It should be an honor to serve. BTW plenty of people earn less than $60,000 a year, including police! Nurses!

      • Jon Anderson says

        Honor has economic requirements too. We’re not talking about the Peace Corps, we’re talking about managing a budget of hundreds of millions of dollars and a city of millions of people. Those intellectually capable of contributing to that need to be paid a decent salary. Yes, plenty of valuable professions earn less than $60K a year, but are their skills up to the challenges of running the city of Dallas? Unlikely. For example, engineers in the bowels of any tech company earn over $100K a year. I don’t think their skills would generally translate to being a successful City Councillor either.

        • mmCandy Evans says

          All well and good, not sure the guys who signed our Constitution were well paid. They had principles and beliefs. Too many are in public office now to make hay for themselves whilst the sun shines.

          • Jon Anderson says

            Ha! All the founding fathers I can think of were wealthy men, often vast landowners. Their wealth enabled them to have principles and beliefs without the fear of negative repercussions.

          • Jon Anderson says

            They also lived in an era when the wealthy weren’t completely focused on self-interest.

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