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Here’s what 7 DFW mayors earn and what they actually do

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Photo courtesy of AP/LM Otero

By Joi Louviere

June 3, 2024

Do you remember the mayor featured in the hugely popular sitcom Schitt’s Creek, Roland Schitt? The eccentric small town mayor ultimately gets a second job working at the Rosebud Motel to help make ends meet when his wife Jocelyn becomes pregnant with their second kid.

Like Roland, some DFW leaders take on the role of mayor for the greater cause—it’s not necessarily a job they expect will help them pay the bills. But a number of mayoral positions in the metroplex do require the office holder to give the majority of their attention to the cities they serve.

If you’ve ever been curious about how much a local mayor is compensated, keep reading. We’ve looked into the mayors of the DFW’s largest cities, what their actual job descriptions are, and how much they’re stacking in exchange. 

 

McKinney

George Fuller is the current mayor of McKinney, which is home to just over 200,000 residents. Originally elected in 2017 and then reelected in 2021, Fuller came to politics as a general contractor and business owner. 

The mayor of McKinney is recognized as the head of city government for ceremonial purposes and is recognized by the Texas governor as the head of the city for military law purposes. Fuller has taken it upon himself to lead other efforts in the city, but they are not part of his job description. 

In terms of compensation, he makes $50 per city council meeting he attends and also receives a $100 monthly phone stipend and $100 general monthly stipend.

 

Garland

Scott LeMay assumed the office of mayor in 2019, and his current term ends in 2025. Thanks to a ballot proposition in the May 4 election, LeMay’s pay just increased from $575 to $675 a month. 

Garland’s city charter describes the mayor’s role as the leader of city council meetings and as the head of the city, but only for ceremonial purposes. He’s not required to do any administrative duties for the roughly 240,000 city residents, leaving him available for his full-time job as a store layout designer for a major retailer. 

 

Irving 

Rick Stopfer has served as the mayor of Irving since June 2017. He brings in $1,200 a month as mayor of the 256,000-person city of Irving. Stopfer’s duties go a bit beyond the city leaders above: In addition to leading city council meetings, he represents Irving at the state, national, and international levels. Stopfer is a retired automotive consultant and his wife still works as a consultant for IBM. 

 

Plano

John Muns, a real estate developer, was elected mayor of Plano in 2021. Inching up to 300,000 residents, Plano is one of the bigger cities in the metroplex, serving as headquarters for notable businesses like Pepsico, FedEx, and JCPenney. 

The guidelines of the Plano charter say the mayor is a member of the city council and presides over those meetings, as well as official city ceremonies. The mayor also represents the city at the state, national, and international levels. In this role, Muns earns $2,000 a month

 

Arlington

For the past three years, former Arlington police officer Jim Ross has served as mayor for the city’s 395,000 residents. Ross owns two restaurants and runs his own law practice, supplementing his mayor’s salary of $3,000 a year. He serves as the presiding officer of the City Council and represents the city in all of its relations with other entities. 

Arlington’s pay scale for elected officials has been in place since 1980: In fact, the city has historically ranked last among the 50 largest US cities for mayoral compensation.

 

Fort Worth

Mattie Parker has been serving as Fort Worth’s mayor since 2021. Her duties include voting on all matters coming before the city council, but no power of veto. She represents the city on all ceremonial occasions and is to be the official head of the city government. She receives $29,000 a year to preside over a city of 989,000 residents. The city’s first millennial mayor also works part-time as chief of staff of Cook Children’s Healthcare Center. 

 

Dallas

You’d think with a growing population of 1.3 million people, Dallas would need a mayor working full time to keep it running. While Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson does have more responsibilities than other cities in the metroplex, the council-manager structure that Dallas has adopted means the city manager takes on a lot of duties. This means Johnson has a more flexible schedule than, say, Houston’s mayor, as Houston uses a mayor-council structure, centering the leader as figurehead and city manager. 

Johnson takes appointments throughout the day, sets the city council’s agenda and acts as the city’s main figurehead while working part-time as an attorney at a prominent law firm. He makes $80,000 a year in his role and in April the City of Dallas Charter Review Commission proposed an increase to $120,000 yearly. 

  • Joi Louviere

    Joi Louviere is the community editor for Courier DFW. She’s a seventh generation Texan and world traveler, passionate about college access, DIY projects and trying out all the coffee shops in Dallas.

CATEGORIES: LOCAL PEOPLE

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