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Kim Tolbert Dodges Questions About High Turnover, City Plans

City of Dallas seal
City of Dallas seal | Image by Harry Thomas Flower/Shutterstock

Interim City Manager Kim Tolbert has dodged questions about her plans for the employees of the City of Dallas.

The Dallas Express emailed Tolbert seeking comment on her plans to address the City’s seeming lack of appeal as a place of employment. DX also sought comment on Tolbert’s new administration plans to resolve issues that have endured since the T.C. Broadnax City Manager era, for whom she served as a deputy.

The City of Dallas has recently suffered significant turnover at nearly every level of government. The City of Austin recently recruited Broadnax to become its new city manager. Deputy Manager Robert Perez recently announced his departure to become the city manager of Topeka, Kansas. Additionally, the City reportedly narrowly fended off Police Chief Eddie Garcia’s departure.

Furthermore, the Dallas Police Department continues to struggle with staffing shortages, which has become a significant and ongoing concern for the City. The department currently suffers a shortage of roughly 1,000 officers as property crime continues to rise, DX reported. This has led Downtown Dallas to regularly outpace Fort Worth in criminal activity.

One example that demonstrates the issues across levels of government is 9999 Technology Blvd. This property was formerly a call center for a French telecom company. However, after the company outsourced the Texas jobs in 2019, the building was abandoned and fell into disrepair. Since at least 2023, when the City took control of the office complex, the area has become a magnate for nuisance behavior and crime. On one recent occasion, witnesses told DX they saw police and the coroner exiting the property after an incident.

The Broadnax administration took no publicly known action to secure the area or demolish the decaying structure. DX asked the interim city manager if she would take action. She did not respond. Likewise, Tolbert did not issue a statement when asked about her plans to make Dallas more attractive as a place of employment for its civil servants.

Historically, Tolbert has not been forthcoming about her professional activity. After DX published a multi-part series examining her social media activity, she blocked DX on X. This activity concerned engagement with tweets and videos harshly critical of police within a racial justice context. The series also highlighted Tolbert’s support for removing historic statues in Dallas and her support for policies seen as being helpful to illegal immigrants.

Similarly, under Tolbert’s and Broadnax’s leadership, DX had an unusual encounter with the City secretary’s office during a public records request. The request resulted in a prolonged dispute that came before the Texas Attorney General. The secretary’s office claimed it could not release records of Tolbert’s work product on DEI and related material during her years of service with the City. Then, the secretary’s office claimed the files did not exist. Shortly thereafter, a tiny batch of documents materialized without explanation.

DX asked the City secretary’s office if they had lost or destroyed documents during their search. They chose not to respond.

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