Jun 21, 2022 - News

Dallas city manager reaches agreement with mayor to keep his job

a photo of Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson
Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson said it was "time for a reset" with the city manager. Photo: Omar Vega/Getty Images

Dallas City Manager TC Broadnax will remain in his position — for now.

Driving the news: Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson scheduled a special session for the City Council to review Broadnax's job performance and employment last week but then postponed the discussion to this Thursday.

  • On Tuesday, the mayor canceled the meeting and issued a joint statement with Broadnax saying they had reached an agreement.

Why it matters: Broadnax, like a chief executive, runs the city and reports to the 15-member City Council, which acts much like a board of directors.

  • Council members have expressed frustration with the city manager's work, including Dallas' poorly-run permitting system, which has slowed development.

What happened: Discussions about the city manager's job began somewhat privately after five council members signed a memo asking for Broadnax's employment to be reviewed earlier than usual. He was given the opportunity to resign.

  • He didn't. Then both the mayor and three other council members wrote memos publicly asking for a job review.
  • But that review, which was scheduled for last Wednesday, was delayed after some council members withdrew their support.
  • And then council members started finger-pointing, saying they didn't actually sign the original memo asking for the review.

Between the lines: After more than a week of political theater, the two men at the center of the controversy — the mayor and city manager — are publicly agreeing that Broadnax's job performance needs to improve but he can stay put.

Flashback: Disagreements between Broadnax and Johnson have played out publicly before, including in 2019, over former police chief Renee Hall's performance amid rising crime reports.

  • Council members also questioned why the city manager and other high-level employees hadn't informed them of a massive loss of police data in 2020.

What they're saying: The mayor said in a statement that it's "time for a reset."

  • "I am confident now that he fully grasps the gravity of the challenges we face and that he understands the importance of our shared priorities."

The other side: Broadnax agreed, saying he's proud of the work of his city staff but isn't "satisfied."

  • "What recent days have shown me is that we have some healing and hard work ahead of us. Some members of the City Council have expressed, publicly and privately, their frustrations with the pace of necessary changes, with the prioritization of issues that are important to their constituents, and with my responsiveness at times," the city manager said in a statement.

What's next: Broadnax will develop a plan to improve the city's permitting process and will start meeting regularly with the mayor to discuss progress.

Yes, but: Council members will still review the city manager and three other top-level employees in August.

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