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Opinion

Wendy Davis sought fat pay increases for herself as city council member

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Texas,2014 Elections,Ashe Schow,Wendy Davis,Greg Abbott,Pay Equity

Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis twice sought to give herself and fellow Fort Worth City Council members a massive pay increase.

Davis routinely knocks her Republican opponent, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, for his salary increases, but she tried twice to increase her own pay while serving the people of Fort Worth.

In 2001, Davis and other council members proposed a 400 percent increase in their pay – from $75 a week ($3,900 a year) to about $20,000 a year, according to a Feb. 28, 2001, article published by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

"If you look at the current makeup of the council, we don't have a regular, blue-collar-type voice," Davis said of the proposal. "By not having adequate pay, you exclude a very important voice from those council seats.”

At the time, supporters of the proposal said council members spent as many as 50 hours a week doing their jobs and that $75 a week was hardly enough compensation.

The proposal went nowhere.

In 2006, Fort Worth City Council members tried again, this time by proposing an amendment to the city charter and allowing voters to decide whether they should receive a pay increase.

The amendment stated: “[E]ffective October 1, 2006, to increase the compensation paid to each City Council member to $25,000.00 per year and $29,000.00 per year for the mayor.”

Davis and every other council member voted for the change.

The people of Fort Worth endorsed the ordinance, giving city council members a pay increase of more than 500 percent.

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