City News

Monarch butterflies and spendy mayor top this week's Dallas city news

Monarch butterflies and spendy mayor top this week's Dallas city news

Photo of mating monarch butterflies
Texas will soon have a license plate dedicated to monarch butterflies. Photo by Marshall Hinsley

The biggest city story of the week was the city of Dallas budget for 2020-21. But there is also news about the census, news about National Night Out, and news about the mayor's extravagant office purchases.

Here's what happened in Dallas news this week:

Budget approved
The Dallas City Council endured a 12+ hour meeting on September 23 and voted to approve the $3.8 billion budget for 2020-21.

Despite some who advocated trimming money alloted to the Dallas Police Department, their $500 million budget remains intact.

The only step the City Council did take was to cut their overtime budget by $7 million.

The City Council also reduced the property tax rate by a tiny amount ($0.7763 per $100).

Spendy Dallas Mayor
Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson is spending a bundle on security detail and luxury office furniture, according to a post on Reform Dallas.

Since Johnson took office in June 2019, the mayor's security detail has increased to include four full-time detectives, one sergeant supervisor, and multiple special assignment patrol officers which tallies up to $1.3 million. The post says that Johnson has a personal police patrol at and around his home 24 hours a day.

Johnson has also spent more than $60,000 in high-end designer office furniture, including a grey JSI Apogee Desk for $21,995.

Census deadline postponed
A judge has changed the deadline on the 2020 census from the end of September through the end of October.

U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh said the shortened schedule ordered by the Trump administration likely would produce inaccurate results which would affect the distribution of federal funding and political representation over the next 10 years.

Virtual National Night Out
The City of Dallas' annual National Night Out 2020 will be a virtual version, held on Tuesday, October 6 to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

National Night Out is a community-building event designed to promote police-community partnerships and encourage neighborhoods to come together.

The city has a list of suggested virtual activities that include virtual talent shows, game nights, puzzles, and so on.

Monarch butterfly license plates
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is launching a new license plate whose profits will go to help conserve monarch butterflies and other at-risk species native to Texas.

They're inviting the public to vote for their favorite out of three designs, all of which, predictably, incorporate monarch butterflies. The survey is online and voting will be open until October 3.