Fort Worth voters reject pay hikes for mayor, council; approve $560 million for streets, recreation, public safety

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Fort Worth voters said no Saturday to a massive pay raise for the city’s mayor and city council members but approved five bond proposals authorizing the city to spend $560 million for street and mobility improvements, park and recreation projects, public safety facilities, a new branch library and acquiring land for natural areas.

The pay raise plan, one of 13 proposed amendments to the city charter, was defeated by a margin of 52.4 percent to 47.6 percent, according to unofficial results in yesterday’s municipal election. All but two of the other charter amendments were approved.

The five bond proposals were all approved by healthy margins, with the proposition for the largest expenditure of funds, $360.2 million for road and mobility projects, winning support of 67.3 percent of voters versus 32.6 percent opposed.

Also on the ballot was a special election to fill the District 4 council seat being vacated by Cary Moon. Voters chose Alan Blaylock over three other candidates to replace Moon, who forfeited the seat to run for the Texas House of Representatives. He ran unsuccessfully for the District 93 House seat that will be vacated by Matt Krause.

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Fort Worth was among a number of Tarrant County municipalities and school districts that conducted elections on Saturday. Countywide, 105,882 votes were casts in early and election day voting for a turnout of 8.60 percent.

Statewide, voters approved two constitutional amendments that will provide property tax relief to homeowners.

Fort Worth’s pay raise proposal had been criticized not only for the amount of the raises but also for taking future decisions on mayoral and council salaries out of the hands of voters and linking the elected officials’ pay raises to that of department heads and assistant department heads.

The pay rates would have been built into the city’s annual budget, which the council would then vote to approve.

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Saturday’s defeat was the second time in recent years that Fort Worth voters have rejected a pay raise for the city’s elected officials. In 2016, a charter amendment that would have raised the mayor’s salary to $60,000 and council salaries to $45,000 was opposed by nearly 66 percent of voters.

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