Hunt Proposes Trimming Meals, Travel, Copies and Lube From Council Budget. Wait. What?

Keep Dallas Observer Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.

This is probably what happened: Angela Hunt got a phone call yesterday afternoon from Rudy Bush at The News, who wanted to know why the council person was one of seven to sign a letter telling Jerry Allen and the mayor, that, look, they'll cut their own budgets, thanks very much. Hunt, who has said repeatedly that "we're cutting muscle, we're cutting bone," no doubt wanted to make it very clear that she's not being fiscally irresponsible, so, late last night, she hopped on her Web site to outline her proposal for $457,374 in savings -- a small but decent hunk of the $190 million City Manager Mary Suhm needs to cut before presenting the council her budget late next week.

So, a little past midnight this morning, Hunt delineated eight reductions and eliminations -- among them, "Eliminate fleet fuel and lube (unclear what this is for)." She explains further her reasons for telling Allen to go trim his own budget and leave hers alone:

Each councilmember represents 90,000 residents. We each have two staff members: a secretary and an assistant. Each office gets hundreds of phone calls, emails, and letters requesting assistance with city issues. Our secretaries and assistants help us respond to those requests.

With a goal of reducing our budget by nearly $500,000, Councilmember Allen has proposed cutting half our secretaries. However, with the significant cuts in many city services, the council is going to see an increase in constituent phone calls and service requests, and the proposal to eliminate half the secretaries will, in my opinion, reduce our ability to respond to residents.

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.