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Awkward silence about the job evaluation — but Dallas city manager gets some subtle support

A photograph picturing the Dallas City Hall building in the background and a tree in the foreground.
Keren Carrión
Some council members are blaming Dallas City Manager T.C. Broadnax for not fixing critical city services fast enough.

An aborted attempt to move up Dallas City Manager T.C. Broadnax's evaluation – and possibly discuss firing him — was the elephant in the room at a city meeting Wednesday.

The only evidence that it happened was two council members praising the city manager for leading a team that crafts and helps determine how Dallas spends its tax dollars.

Council member Carolyn King Arnold, who represents Southern and East Oak Cliff subtly voiced support for Broadnax twice during a briefing about the city’s budget.

“Mr. Broadnax I can speak for your leadership on this team with crafting the budget. You do have an ace coom boom team,” she said.

Arnold also was pleased with the budget’s emphasis on equity.

“The leadership that Mr. T.C. Broadnax has taken to implementing equity in the budget and the team members embracing that concept,” Arnold said.

Shortly after Arnold’s comments, Council Member Jaynie Schultz weighed in.

“I definitely echo all her praise of you and your team. I look forward to working everybody,” Schlutz said.

Krystina Martinez
Dallas City Manager T.C. Broadnax's job performance is under the microscope.

Mayor Eric Johnson and three other council members frustrated with the city manager's performance had tried to push his evaluation to Wednesday. But that didn’t happen.

Trouble between Broadnax and detractors at city hall has been brewing for some time. They’ve been unhappy with how the city manager has handled the city’s ongoing delays in the building permitting process and his response to a massive deletion of important police files during a data transfer.

Cara Mendelsohn is one of the council members who had initially tried to push his evaluation forward.

"After listening to our colleagues, we have requested the city secretary cancel Wednesday’s special called meeting. We believe it is important for all colleagues to feel this process is fair and transparent and we are looking forward to a frank performance review discussion," Mendelsohn tweeted Tuesday night.

And in a statement, Johnson announced the council would be evaluating Broadnax's job performance on June 23 — as originally planned.

“I do not mind taking another week to ensure my Dallas City Council colleagues can get comfortable with the process,” Johnson said. “I look forward to discussing our city’s direction and future next week.”

Got a tip? Email Alejandra Martinez at You can follow her on Twitter @alereports.

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Alejandra Martinez is a reporter for KERA and The Texas Newsroom through Report for America (RFA). She's covering the impact of COVID-19 on underserved communities and the city of Dallas.