PickingThroughaPamphlet

March is upon us and that means another election circle for Denton. It is time to dig out the voter’s guide from under that stack of magazines and study the fine print of the various propositions.

This year Denton citizens have to deal only with municipal issues. There are no state measures to decide, and the next national election is several years away.

Besides choosing a new mayor from 14 candidates, and confirming the district attorney and sheriff, both of whom are running for re-election unopposed, voters will also have to decide some 19 propositions — labeled A lo Z — this year.

To help you wade through the alphabetical soup, here’s a summary of some key measures.

Deputy Mayors May Get the Boot Proposition D.  The so-called “deputy mayor ban” would prevent the mayor from hiring assistants to supervise city departments that are already under the control of the chief administrative officer or their own board or commission.

The measure also stipulates that no employee in the mayor’s office can earn more than 80 percent of the mayor’s salary.

Supporters of Prop. D claim that by eliminating these deputy mayor positions the city would save almost a million dollars a year in salaries. They also claim that while Mayor Allen Banks has reduced the number of deputy mayors from eight to four, with only one official now actually holding that title, the other assistants are still around in new positions and with new titles, and still earning high salaries.

Proponents of the ban, organized by Senator Theodore Taylor, look upon the mayor’s deputies as “bureaucrats overseeing other bureaucrats.” and consider the practice of hiring them an “arrogant” waste of taxpayers’ money.

Ella Poole, a spokesperson for the measure, said the positions amounted to “political thank you’s” to supporters of the mayor. And according to Poole, the city’s budget analyst has been unable to determine exactly what the “deputy mayors” do.