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Chairman Anchia Weighs In As Dallas Charter Review Commission Takes Last Testimony

Texas Tribune
State Rep. Rafael Anchia chairs the Dallas Charter Review Commission.

Once every decade, the city of Dallas reviews its charter and recommends changes in the way it governs to voters. 

Tonight, the Charter Review Commission will hold its last public meeting in Dallas City Council chambers. Members will decide May 6 which changes to put before voters in November.

At the top of the list for the commission chair, State Rep. Rafael Anchia, is creating a redistricting process that would prevent those with special interests from drawing the city’s election boundaries.

Currently, City Council members and the mayor appoint representatives to a redistricting committee that then draws election boundaries. 

Anchia says that’s often led to council districts being drawn to ensure incumbents are reelected.

Anchia wants to bar elected officials, their family members, lobbyists, and those planning to run for election from serving on the redistricting committee.

Dallas’ Charter Review Commission is also considering whether to raise the salaries of Dallas council members and the mayor. 

Anchia says there appears to be consensus on the commission for asking voters to approve a pay raise for council members from their current salary of $37,500 to $49,530, and to increase the mayor’s pay from $60,000 to $79,542. 

Anchia would like council member pay raised even more, but says most Charter Review Commission members don’t support that.

Here’s an excerpt of KERA’s conversation with Anchia. 

Former KERA staffer Shelley Kofler was news director, managing editor and senior reporter. She is an award-winning reporter and television producer who previously served as the Austin bureau chief and legislative reporter for North Texas ABC affiliate WFAA-TV.