Some Dallas Council Members Remain Upset With City’s Attendance Policy

Full Dallas City Council Attendance Records Since June 27

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The simple task of taking detailed attendance records during public meetings continues to stir controversy among members of the Dallas City Council more than two years after the measure was enacted.

“This is absolutely totally, totally, totally unfair,” said councilwoman Carolyn Davis during a council briefing on Nov. 16.

She was upset with the city paying someone to watch them.

“I have a problem with paying them, a staff person, $70,000 to take note if we’re here or not,” Davis said.

Adelia Gonzalez is paid $30,846, according to the Texas Tribune’s government employee salary database, as a Customer Service Representative.

One of the duties of that position, which falls under the umbrella of the City Secretary’s Office, is to take notes of every minute of each meeting, including whether someone showed up one minute late or stepped out for five.

If councilmembers miss more than 50 percent of any meeting, they are marked as “absent.” If they miss enough meetings, their annual salary begins to decrease.

This was first passed in August of 2009 while Tom Leppert served as mayor. It was created to help curb council members arriving late to meetings and leaving early.

The council voted 11-4 to enact the measure. When it was passed, the Dallas Morning News reported Davis “vigorously opposed” the measure.

Public records requested by CBS 11 show current Mayor Mike Rawlings has the best attendance since June 27, sitting in his seat for 99 percent of all council meetings in that time period.

At the bottom of the list is Davis, who was present for just over 80 percent of all City Council meetings since that date.

Davis has not responded to requests for comment left by phone and in person over the course of the last week.

Councilwoman Vonciel Jones Hill, though, also took issue with just how detailed the records get. She too voted against the measure in 2009.

“If I go to the ladies’ room, someone has got to sit here and count me,” she said.

City secretary Rosa Rios sees things differently.

“I think it’s really very important that the City Council … be able to justify to the public that their council members are attending the meetings that they’re supposed to, that they’re conducting city business,” she said.

Davis also reflected the Tribune’s salary record of the position, saying it earns about $30,000 when benefits are taken into the account.

“She’s basically at the minimum for that position,” Rios said. “So it’s not a highly paid position.”

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  • its me

    Sounds like a perfectly reasonable policy to me. If you don’t show up for work you get fired at most jobs. Only getting docked pay instead of being fired sounds like a dream to most working people, what makes the city council think they’re so different?

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  • Jeff Wyatt

    awesome job CBS11dfw keep up the good job
    City Council should be worried any other job would of FIRED them a long time ago,;. wake up voters

  • bleatingwolf

    Not to mention, if a council member misses 3 regular sessions in a row, their seat is considered vacant and a new council member must be appointed. Naturally, someone needs to pay attention to who shows up and who skips out halfway through.

    It’s not like they do anything anyway. The real work is done by the unelected staff. The council just tries to claim credit for anything that goes right, while blaming each other for anything that goes wrong.


    This Caroline Davis lady is NUTS!!! She is the one who ran up and started yelling at the cops when they had her buddy in South Dallas stopped…telling the officer her buddy did nothing wrong, even though she wasn’t there! Then the DMN gets the guys record and he has been in prison for 20years!!! A felon for robbery and multiple other crimes!! WOW South Dallas you know how to pick them! How the hell will you ever improve when you elect incompetents to represent you????

  • Bill Fuller

    Funny how so many city council members don’t want the citizens to hold them responsible for doing their job. They just want to get paid for doing nothing. Angela Hunt is a good example of this. She is absent and/or late to more meeting than she attends. If that was you or I, we woould be fired. She needs to be fired. She does nothing and expects to get paid.

  • Jenny

    Sounds like Davis needs a new job. Even though she is a whiner, I’ll wish her a happy holiday anyway:

  • Gumby Rules

    Notice it is the two with the worst attendance records complaining the most.

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