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Pay Cuts For Dallas Police And Fire & Nightly Roundup

By KERA News & Wire Services

Dallas, TX – Dallas Police and firefighters will take a pay cut of almost two percent to help balance the city budget.

City Council members were updated on the plan this afternoon. It includes five unpaid furlough days, and "comp-time instead of overtime pay -- except for the Super Bowl and State Fair.

Dallas Police Association President Glenn White says they don't like it, but it's necessary.

White: Certainly it's not what we wanted, but we have a choice. We agree to this, or she's smart enough and has the will power and authority to cut other things that would have a more devastating effect on us as police officers. We're very happy with this.

Hiring will also be cut. The city will replace only half of police officers who retire next year. The total package will save more than 24 million dollars. The city is still more than 20 million dollars "short."

Weatherford's Lengthy "Boil Water Notice"

The "boil water notice" in Weatherford could last more than a week. That's the latest from city officials.

The water's back on to the city's 26 thousand residents after Monday's critical pipeline break. But it's not fit for drinking or cooking.

City officials say repairs could take a few days or a few weeks.

Dallas Council Gears Up For Redistricting

Cities and states won't get their official 2010 Census numbers until next March. But the Dallas City Council will name a "redistricting" commission late this year. The commission will re-draw election district boundaries according to population growth.

Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway wants all that work to be "public".

Caraway: It is a lot to me that this is the most transparent, from this discussion today moving forward, so that we will not have problems. Because this is the tug of war with each and every one of these council members around this horseshoe.

Hispanic population growth is expected to be a major factor in the new districts. Councilman Steve Salazar won't speculate yet if that could mean more Hispanic seats on the council, and fewer African-American.

The new election districts will be in place for the May 2013 City Council elections.

New Dallas Park Board Chair To Shake Things Up

The former "Homeless Czar" in Dallas is now Chairman of the Park Board. Mike Rawlings was confirmed today by a vote of the City Council.

Mayor Tom Leppert says Rawlings will shake things up as the department struggles to keep parks clean and rec centers open.

Leppert: We're going to find sponsorships. We're going to have to find partnerships where different organizations are going to come in, utilize the physical facility that we have but put the operating cost into it by sponsoring programs, and that sorts of things. And it also means we're going to have to think about doing things different.

The only "no" vote came from Councilman Dave Neumann, who said he had no confidence in Rawlings. As director of "Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance" Rawlings was part of the plan to move chronically homeless people into the Housing Authority's Cliff Manor in Oak Cliff. Neumann has fought that plan.