A Dallas City Council meeting that could decide whether to fire City Manager T.C. Broadnax was delayed until next week after some council members withdrew their support for an expected review of his performance.
In a news release, Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson said the evaluation and any related vote would be done in the June 23 meeting. The delay comes after a push was underway late Tuesday by Broadnax supporters to remove that item from Wednesday's agenda.
“I do not mind taking another week to ensure my Dallas City Council colleagues can get comfortable with the process,” Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson said in a news release Tuesday night. “I look forward to discussing our city’s direction and future next week.”
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T.C. Broadnax has been the Dallas City Manager since 2017. His current salary is $410.919.
He rarely grants media interviews, generally preferring to let the mayor and city council members who hired him to do the talking.
Several of his city council supporters spoke for Broadnax Tuesday.
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“I think that this city manager is the right person to lead our city moving forward for the years ahead,” Councilman Jaime Resendez said.
Cal Jillson, a political science expert at Southern Methodist University, said there is a common dynamic between Dallas elected officials and the public administrators they hire at first.
“The person is a genius. They’ve been successful everywhere they’ve ever been. And then they’re here three to five years, and now they’re a fool. We’ve got to get rid of them in order to move forward,” Jillson said.
Jillson, a longtime observer of Dallas City Hall, said the elected officials should be evaluated as a whole along with the manager.
“You have to start by grading city government. And you give it a C minus,” Jillson said.
Mayor Eric Johnson issued a statement Friday about the new review for Broadnax.
“I believe it is time for a change in city management. Several of my duly elected colleagues on the Dallas City Council have made it clear in recent days that they also believe it is time for a change,” the statement said.
Johnson was unavailable for comment Tuesday.
Broadnax was already undergoing a performance review process in which he was being evaluated on 12 goals. Wednesday’s agenda item was to cut that review short.
“If the review process had been completed, folks would get to see that he completed 11 of the 12 key priorities that we as the city council agreed to,” Councilman Omar Narvaez said.
A chronic unfixed problem at Dallas City Hall is the issuance of building permits.
Homebuilders Association issued a statement Tuesday complaining that the problem has lingered for years and Broadnax's response has been inadequate. The association supported the city manager’s replacement.
But Broadnax has received praise from other observers for reforms following local demonstrations after the Minnesota death of George Floyd. Several new programs were added to reduce the use of deadly police force.
Broadnax hired popular police chief Eddie Garcia after strong criticism of his previous chief, U. Renee Hall. And Broadnax ran Dallas city government during the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic.
“He's accomplishing goals and I think he's doing a great job even though he's in the midst of this ongoing attack. And it's been going on for some time,” Councilmember Carolyn King Arnold said.
Jillson said the city council has clearly delivered a strong message to Broadnax from the members pushing to get rid of him.
“They should use that, sit down with him and develop a plan to move forward and resolve some of these issues rather than throwing him out and sacrificing the next six to eight months to a search for a replacement,” Jillson said.
Six months or more is the time it takes to find a replacement, during which priorities may be placed on hold.