Dallas, Texas

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Dallas, Texas
Seal of Dallas.svg
General information
Mike Rawlings 2012.jpg
Mayor:Mike Rawlings
Last mayoral election:2013
Next mayoral election:2015
Last city council election:2013
Next city council election:2015
City council seats:14
2013-2014 FY Budget:$2.8 billion
City website
Composition data
Population in 2013:1.2 million
Gender:50.0% Female
Race:White 50.7%
White Not-Hispanic 28.8%
African American 25.0%
Asian 2.9%
Native American 0.7%
Pacific Islander 0.1%
Two or More 2.6%
Ethnicity:Hispanic 42.4%
Unemployment:6.5%
Median household income:$42,436
High school graduation rate:73.8%
College graduation rate:29.0%
Related Dallas offices
Texas Congressional DelegationTexas State LegislatureTexas state executive offices
Dallas is a city in Texas and the seat of Dallas County. It is the ninth-largest city in the United States and the third-largest city in the state of Texas, behind Houston and San Antonio. Dallas is the largest city in the Dallas-Ft. Worth metropolitan area. As of 2013, its population was 1.2 million.[1]

City government

The city of Dallas utilizes a council-manager system. In this form of municipal government, an elected city council, which includes the mayor and serves as the city's primary legislative body, appoints a chief executive called a city manager. The responsibilities of the city manager include overseeing the city's day-to-day operations, planning and implementing the city's operating budget, carrying out council policies and hiring most city government employees.

Because of its large size, Dallas' use of the council-manager system is unique. Most cities in the United States with populations over one million use a "strong mayor" system, in which the mayor - instead of a city manager - serves as the city's chief executive. Dallas came close to switching to a strong mayor system in 2005, when a proposal made its way onto the ballot of the May 7, 2005, city elections that would have simultaneously removed the office of the city manager and dramatically increased mayoral power and authority. Sixty-two percent of Dallas voters, however, disapproved of the proposal. As a result, the city retained its council-manger system.[2]

Mayor

The mayor presides over city council meetings and official city ceremonies.[3] Mike Rawlings is the current Mayor of Dallas.[4] Rawlings served as CEO of Tracy-Locke, an advertising agency and Pizza Hut.[5]

City Council

The Dallas City Council is the city's primary legislative body. It is responsible for approving and adopting the city budget, levying taxes and making or amending city laws, policies and ordinances.[3]

Membership

The city council consists of fifteen members including the mayor. While the mayor is elected at-large, the other fourteen members are elected by the city's fourteen districts.[6]

A full list of city council members can be found here

Committees

The Dallas City Council features features nine standing committees, which focus on individual policy and legislative issues. Generally, the drafting of city legislation begins with the committees.[7]

For a list of Dallas' committees and committee members, see here.

Budget

The adopted budget for fiscal year 2014 totals $2.8 billion, and includes public safety, economic development, environmental management, park maintenance and educational enhancements.

The city's budget process operates by Fiscal Years running from October 1 to September 31 of the next year. The budget process begins with preliminary revenue projects that are divided into Key Focus Areas (KFAs) as determined by the city council. Budget teams then rank service bids in accordance with the KFAs until the funds of each are depleted. The City Manage presents these rankings as a preliminary budget to the City Council, who hold public hearings to address the proposal. The City Management and Office of Financial Services uses City Council and public feedback to amend the budget. The City Council adopts the budget in September. The city is required by state law to maintain a balanced budget.[8]

Contact information

Office of the City Manager
1500 Marilla Street
Room 4EN
Dallas, TX 75201
Phone: 214-670-3302

Office of the Mayor
1500 Marilla Street
Room 5EN
Dallas, TX 75201
Email: Contact Form

Lobbying

The City of Dallas paid for $280,000 in federal lobbying in 2013. The city filed for three issues relating to Urban Development and two issues relating to Environment & Superfund.[9]

The City of Dallas maintains a searchable database of all registered lobbyists available on the City Hall website.

Ballot measures

See also: Dallas County, Texas ballot measures

The city of Dallas is in Dallas County. A list of ballot measures in Dallas County is available here.

Initiative process

See also: Laws governing local ballot measures in Texas

Population as of the July, 2011 census update: 1,223,229.[10] Dallas is a charter city. Signature requirement is 10% of the qualified voters of the city as appears from the latest available county voter registration list. A committee of at least five registered voters of the city must make application to the city secretary and file an intention to circulate a petition, giving the date and the proposed ordinance to be circulated. The petition must comply in form, content, and procedure with the provisions of Dallas Charter Chap. IV, Section 12. Petitions must be filed with the city secretary 60 days from initial application. After certification, the council has 20 days to pass the ordinance or promptly call a special election.

DocumentIcon.jpg Dallas Charter, Chap. XVIII, Sec. 11 to 14; Chap. IV, Sec. 12

Website evaluation

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Budget Y
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Meetings Y
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Elected Officials Y
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Administrative Officials Y
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Permits, zoning
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Audits Y
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Contracts N
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Lobbying N
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Public Records Y
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Local Taxes
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Transparency grading process

This website was most recently evaluated on January 15 2012.

The good

  • Includes the names and contact information for all city council members and administrative officials.[11]
  • City council meeting agendas,videos, and minutes are published.[12]
  • Local tax information is provided.[13]
  • There is a procedure for requesting public records.[14]
  • Audit reports are available.[15]
  • The current and past budgets are published.[16]
  • Building permits and zoning information provided.[17][18]

The bad

  • There is no information on lobbying.
  • Information on how to obtain a contract is available,[19] but a list of contracts is not publicly available.

See also

External links

References