City Council Still Got Paid for Furlough Day

City charter sets salary of mayor, City Council members

In an effort to close the Dallas budget gap, city leaders closed City Hall on Monday. Employees were not paid for the day. Well, most employees were not paid.

All Dallas City Council members and the mayor were paid, as written in the city charter.

"Their salaries are set by law," City Attorney Tom Perkin Jr. said. "The charter specifically states what their salary is going to be. There are no expectations under the charter for furlough days. The city charter is the city's constitution, so the city is not really able to change the compensation of City Council members because it's set by the charter."

Council members receive $37,500 a year for their service. Break that down, and they receive just more than $102 a day for the year.

NBCDFW.COM called all the City Council members to ask what they plan on doing with the money paid from the furlough day.

An aide in Vonciel Jones Hill's office said she already donates 10 percent of her salary to charity. Councilwoman Ann Margolis said she wasn't aware she was getting paid for the day and that she "just assumed she wasn't getting paid along with everyone else.

Now that she knows, Margolis plans to donate her day's pay to a city charity. Councilman Tennell Atkins is doing the same thing.

But not all are donating the money back to the city. An aide in Councilwoman Linda Koop's office said she plans on keeping the day's pay.

The rest of the City Council has not yet returned phone calls.

Chris Heinbaugh, Mayor Tom Leppert's chief of staff, said the mayor already donates his total salary to charity.

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