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How we got here: A timeline of the rift between Dallas' city manager and city council

The tension between Dallas city manager T.C. Broadnax and the city council has been mounting for more than a year from numerous disagreements.

DALLAS — Dallas council members will be holding a special meeting to determine the future of city manager T.C. Broadnax, and whether that future is aligned with the city's. 

The council meeting will "consider taking appropriate action related to the performance of the City Manager including discipline or removal," said a memo sent to WFAA, which was signed by council members Paula Blackmon, Cara Mendelsohn and Gay Donnell Willis.

Broadnax was asked to resign last week, council members confirmed, but declined, necessitating the need for the special meeting Wednesday. 

The council's move toward firing Broadnax comes after a series of disagreements and tension between him and councilmembers and Mayor Eric Johnson.

Here's a recap of how we got here:

- The divide between the city manager and council members goes back to early 2019, when the Dallas Police Department was consistently missing their hiring goals. Department data from the time shows the Dallas Police Department had lost 98 officers and only hired 42 to replace them. 

- More tension came last June, when Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson asked Broadnax to fix the city's 911 call center staffing shortage.

"We expect him to fix this problem. He's ultimately in charge of every city employee," said Johnson at the time. 

- Problems began ramping up in 2022, when city officials reported more than 22 terabytes of data, more than 8 million records, were lost by the city. The loss was attributed to "inadequate" protocols among IT staff. A report on the data loss criticized the IT staff's lack of training and encouraged more "depth of job functions" for their tasks. 

- Further tension came in March as the city saw a huge backlog of permit delays, frustrating residents and costing the city business. 

“There is a serious economic issue that’s at hand,” said District 9 Council Member Paula Blackmon at the time. “It’s problematic, especially from a city who makes money on property taxes. That’s how we fund services.”

Johnson wrote in an email discussing the upcoming meeting that the requisite sense of urgency needed on the operational side of city government has been conspicuously absent.

"These are not just 'PR problems,' as this city manager recently described them," Johnson wrote in the email. "These are real issues that affect the lives of this city’s families. This is about your safety, your streets, your crucial services, your city’s economic vibrancy, and your quality of life. This is about the basics, such as your ability to get a permit to renovate your home."

Johnson said he would be voting in favor of terminating Broadnax's contract at the meeting Wednesday.


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