Estimated cost to expand City Council presented to Charter Review committee

Estimated cost to expand City Council presented to Charter Review committee

A committee tasked with examining possible changes to the Fort Worth City Charter saw the estimated cost of expanding the Fort Worth City Council at a meeting Thursday.

If the city were to add two additional council members, the estimated total cost to accommodate them would be $300,000. The amount includes the cost of additional chairs in the Pre-Council and Council Chambers, new computers, added furniture and other items. The cost also includes a $75,000 renovation to the Council area within the Council Offices.

With inflation, the estimated cost of adding additional members is $400,000 in 2016.

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The Fort Worth City Council appointed the Charter Review Task Force in July, and the committee held its first meeting in August. The group consists of 11 members who will spend the next few months discussing whether to increase the number of City Council members, raise the pay of council members, extend council terms of office and stagger the terms, along with other conflicts of interest.

After the members discuss what proposed changes they would like to make on the City Charter, the task force will present its suggestions to the City Council. If approved by the City Council, the proposed changes will appear on the ballot for the city election in May.

Though the task force is charged with discussing whether or not to add additional members to City Council, the task force is not in charge of redistricting, Task Force Chair Dionne Bagsby said.

City Secretary Mary Kayser said the task force may also consider adding more than just two council members.

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The task force will meet again for further discussions Sept. 30 at 4 p.m. in the Pre-Council Chamber of City Hall. The meeting is open to the public.