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How do you find a City Manager? Some Dallas council members and mayor disagree

Mayor Eric L. Johnson at city council meeting Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2023, at Dallas City Hall.
Yfat Yossifor
After three council members called a special meeting to name an interim city manager, Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson said not to rush the process. Johnson tasked an administrative committee to come up with a timeline and possible candidates who could fill the position.

Just one day after Dallas City Manager T.C. Broadnax announced his resignation — apparently at the suggestion of some council members — there are conflicting plans to find his replacement.

After the resignation, three council members called a special meeting scheduled for early next week to discuss naming Deputy City Manager Kimberly Tolbert to fill the vacancy in early June when Broadnax’s resignation is effective.

District 5 Council Member Jaime Resendez, District 7 Council Member Adam Bazaldua and District 11 Council Member Jaynie Schultz all signed the memo asking for the special meeting to be held.

But just one day after the resignation was announced, Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson sent a memo to the council that contradicts the planned meeting.

“I will not be attending the special called meeting….There is simply no need or reason to rush this process, and any decisions about how to move forward should be made in a manner that inspires public confidence,” Johnson said in the memo.

Johnson charged the Ad Hoc Committee on Administrative Affairs to recommend a “proper timeline” for naming an interim city manager, possible candidates for the council to consider for the position and a national search process including public input.

District 14 Council Member Paul Ridley and District 10 Council Member Kathy Stewart were also added to the committee.

The search for a new city manager comes amidst tensions between Broadnax and Johnson. Shortly after the resignation announcement, a news release from some council members cited the strained relationship as a hindrance to “the realization of our city’s full potential.”

“As we embark on this new chapter, the Dallas City Council is dedicated to continuing an environment of transparency, accountability, and inclusivity in city governance,” the statement said.

District 7 Council Member Adam Bazaldua told KERA that Dallas has benefited from Broadnax as its city manager.

“It’s unfortunate that this decision has been the direct result of an uncooperative environment fostered by the lack of city-wide leadership on our council,” Bazaldua said. “If it wasn’t apparent before, how imperative it is to cultivate a more collaborative and supportive atmosphere, I sure hope it is now.”

According to Broadnax's contract, the city manager can be removed by a majority vote of the city council. That would be considered "involuntary separation" from the city — along with "the City Manager's resignation following a suggestion, whether formal or informal, by a majority of the City Council that he resign."

Now the council will have to reconcile amongst itself to figure out who will fill the role in early June — and look for a long term solution.

The Ad Hoc Committee on Administrative Affairs is scheduled to meet on Monday. The special council meeting is slated for Tuesday afternoon.

Got a tip? Email Nathan Collins at You can follow Nathan on Twitter @nathannotforyou.

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Nathan Collins is the Dallas Accountability Reporter for KERA. Collins joined the station after receiving his master’s degree in Investigative Journalism from Arizona State University. Prior to becoming a journalist, he was a professional musician.