Tomorrow, the City Council Will Start Voting on Budget-Cutting, Money-Making Ideas

You've been warned: The price of a parking ticket's about to jump by $15, should the council give the OK tomorrow.
You've been warned: The price of a parking ticket's about to jump by $15, should the council give the OK tomorrow.

As Sam mentioned last week, the Dallas City Council didn't get much accomplished during its budget briefing, as a scheduled straw vote on a handful of revenue-generating, cost-saving measures degenerated into a series of delays. And so, during its regularly scheduled meeting tomorrow, several items of note have been added to the agenda addendum, among them votes on forcing Dallas civilian employees to take two unpaid furlough days -- July 6 and September 4 -- which City Manager Mary Suhm says will save the city an estimated $2.6 million during the current fiscal year. Also part of Addendum Item No. 7: doing away with bonuses paid to newly minted Dallas police officers, which Suhm guesstimates will save $3,780,000 annually.

And, unless there's a vote to delay, the council will also vote on raising fees to increase revenues. Which means, in the near future, you can expect parking meter hourly rates to jump by 25 cents. But where?, you ask. "The majority of these meters are located in the Central Business District and entertainment areas." And should you fail to feed the meter, well, that parking ticket's likely to increase in price as well: Says Addendum Item No. 9, "The proposed ordinance will increase the base fine amount for parking tickets by $15 each and increase the second penalty amount by $10." As a result, Suhm says, the average ticket fine would increase to $49 -- which, the city insists, is still well below other cities' "average parking ticket fine [of] $69." The council will also vote on increasing the commercial loading zone permit fee from $20 annually to $50 annually.


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