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City Walks Back Termination Threat As Dallas City Manager Pledges To Tackle Permitting Issues

Dallas City Manager T.C. Broadnax will keep his job for now after reaching an agreement with Mayor Eric Johnson that postpones his performance review until August.

City Manager T.C. Broadnax responded to criticisms of the city's permitting system at a May 2 economic development briefing.

Members of council were scheduled to consider firing Broadnax during a Wednesday meeting following allegations he failed to properly address issues with the city’s construction permitting system. Johnson and Broadnax released a joint statement on Tuesday that recommits Broadnax to tackling the beleaguered system as well as other issues, according to the Dallas Morning News.

“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 told the DMN. “The time for rhetoric is over. It is now time for a reset. It is now time to heal. And it is now time for real results and accountability.”

Broadnax has agreed to focus heavily on three areas: construction permitting delays, delays in response to 911 calls, and poor policies and oversight in the city’s information technology system, according to the DMN. 

“I recognize that our problems are not just about what the media reports, but how we perform,” Broadnax said in the joint statement. “I own that.”

Phil Crone, executive director of the Dallas Builders Association, said the decision to postpone Broadnax’s performance review came as a surprise to his organization, especially after the mayor and several of his colleagues endorsed his termination. Crone said he is cautiously optimistic that Broadnax will now feel enough pressure to implement some of the fixes suggested by the industry.

“It’s been communicated that his job — whether he continues there and his performance and how they measure it — is going to be very largely based on the permitting situation,” he said. “Maybe that’s the motivation that’s needed to get us to the point that we need to be.”

Crone hopes Broadnax will sit down with the DBA to discuss ways the city can partner with the organization to affect change. So far, he said Broadnax has only agreed to meet with the group once upon the urging of Mayor Pro Tem Chad West.

“That would be a great olive branch and step forward if he wanted to reach out and sit down with me,” he said. “That would be a frank conversation but one that would be beneficial for both of us in getting us on track to get this fixed.”