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Dallas mayor and city manager agree on path forward, say it's 'time to heal'

Mayor Johnson stood by his statement of needing change in Dallas, but said Broadnax is experienced enough to get the job done.

DALLAS — It seems the turmoil between Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson and Dallas City Manager T.C. Broadnax is coming to an end after both released a joint statement Tuesday, saying it was time to move forward together.

A couple of weeks ago, the rift between the two came to a head when Johnson backed the Dallas City Council’s decision to potentially oust Broadnax as city manager and called for a special meeting last week to decide the his future.

In a statement to WFAA, Johnson said he believed it was time for a change in city management.  

Amid the call for his firing, Broadnax said in a statement that he was proud “of the hard work which has led to the accomplishment of many goals related to the city council’s eight strategic priorities and look forward to sharing the R.E.A.L. impact we continue to make to improved the lives of Dallas residents in ways that are responsible, equitable, accountable, and legitimate, together as One Dallas.”

On Tuesday, Johnson stood by his statement of needing change, but said it was time to heal and Broadnax is experienced enough to get the job done, because Dallas residents deserve the best.

“I still believe we need change. But after some serious and frank discussions with our city manager, I believe he is ready to make the necessary changes to address issues that are critically important to our residents," Johnson said. 

Broadnax said he recognizes that he has failed to address issues in a way that is “up to my own standards.” 

“I know my team and I can be better. I understand that I am fully accountable to my 15 bosses. So today, I want to say to the mayor, to the members of the City Council, and to all the residents of this dynamic city: I accept the challenge,” Broadnax said Tuesday. “I take full responsibility for addressing the issues that are critical to the long-term success of the City. I recognize that our problems are not just about what the media reports, but how we perform. I own that.”

Broadnax said that he’s excited to reset and is committed to take a fresh approach to help the city prosper. 

RELATED: Supporters rally in support of Dallas city manager as council contemplates his future

The division between the two city leaders reportedly began in 2019, when the Dallas Police Department was missing its hiring goals. Tensions began to rise again when Johnson asked Broadnax to fix the city’s 911 call center shortage, when the city lost more than eight million records in a data loss, and when the city saw a huge backlog of permit delays in March 2022.  

In early June 2022, Johnson, along with councilmembers, shared their frustrations and concerns about Broadnax’s abilities to help the city fix these issues. 

After city council announced a special meeting to address Broadnax’s job, the Dallas Fire Fighter’s Association and councilmembers cited the permitting process and Broadnax’s missteps and failures in maintaining working conditions at several fire stations. 

On June 15, supporters of Broadnax rallied at city hall and said Broadnax had not been given the chance to go through a formal review concerning his job performance. 

RELATED: Supporters rally in support of Dallas city manager as council contemplates his future 

In Tuesday's statement, Johnson and Broadnax agreed to address many of the issues Broadnax had been facing criticism for, including the permitting process. The full list is below: 

  • Permitting: The city manager will develop a clear action plan for fixing the city’s development services backlogs and delays on an expedited timeline. The plan will incorporate feedback from builders and developers and focus on improving the customer experience. It will also focus on both short-term triage and systemic change that will ensure smoother operations in the future.
  • Public safety: The city manager and the mayor are committing to working together to make Dallas the safest major city in the United States. The city manager is committing to active and timely meet-and-confer negotiations with police and firefighters. The mayor and the city manager will also collaborate on improving community-based public safety initiatives such as violence interruption services, blight remediation, and lighting improvements in high-crime areas.
  • 911 call center: The city manager will continue to make improvements to the 911 call center to ensure reliable, efficient, and high-quality service and public safety for residents.
  • Focus on high-priority issues: The city manager and mayor will work collaboratively to address top citywide issues, such as enhancing the city’s international stature, continuing to develop an Economic Development Corporation that puts the City of Dallas’ economic interests first, and passing and implementing the mayor’s policy priorities for City Council’s committees.
  • Communication: The city manager will enhance communication about progress on top priority issues. The city manager will also develop a protocol for surfacing problems for City Council discussions. The mayor and city manager will begin meeting on a biweekly basis to discuss major issues, priorities, and progress. The city manager is also committing to promoting citywide initiatives such as the mayor’s “Summer of Safety” campaign.

The mayor and the city manager will also work together in discussing the city’s infrastructure, the concerns of Dallas firefighters and the need to retain employees.

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