In the wake of City Manager T.C. Broadnax’s announcement that he would resign in June, a number of Dallas City Council members appear to be pushing to appoint Deputy City Manager Kim Tolbert on an interim basis.

As previously reported by The Dallas Express, the Broadnax era of Dallas governance has seen taxes, municipal spending, and crime rise while the City struggled to deliver essential services.

High-profile incidents involving sensitive City data and a significant permitting backlog further marred his tenure. With polling over the last couple of years indicating broad dissatisfaction with the City’s effectiveness in addressing critical issues like homelessness, crime, and rudimentary services, some community stakeholders are calling for whoever replaces Broadnax to get back to the basics.

“It’s important that any new city manager is focused on core City services,” said Louis Darrouzet, CEO of the Metroplex Civic & Business Association, speaking with The Dallas Express over the weekend. “We would like to see the City get back to meeting the core needs of the city and cut back on peripheral spending.”

According to The Dallas Morning News, in addition to the several council members, a number of left-leaning activist groups (including NAACP Dallas, the Dallas Black Chamber of Commerce, and the South Dallas/Fair Park Faith Coalition) are mobilizing to push for Tolbert to assume Broadnax’s responsibilities, a move some online have criticized for the purportedly backroom nature of her quickly becoming a frontrunner.

For her part, Tolbert has been an enthusiastic supporter of race-based causes and “equity” programs, the latter of which the City has devoted considerable energy to despite their questionable legality in some cases, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.

The deputy city manager has been an avid supporter of “diversity, equity, and inclusion” (DEI) initiatives. Her social media accounts regularly make posts promoting various DEI programs and she recently attended a DEI conference.

Tolbert once posed with Philonise Floyd, the brother of George Floyd, for a photo, sharing it on social media in December 2022 along with congratulations for his work in “racial justice.”

During the era of Black Lives Matter demonstrations following George Floyd’s death in 2020, Tolbert posted a photo of Broadnax leveling with protesters by saying, “I am a black man and I feel your pain.” In the post, she quoted Broadnax’s reference to the “systemic changes that are needed in our city,” phraseology borrowed from leftist rhetoric.

True to her race-conscious orientation, before she became deputy city manager in 2022, Tolbert supported the removal of Dallas’ historic Robert E Lee memorial.

Tolbert is not without supporters, though. Metro News previously called Tolbert a “superb woman,” and three Dallas City Council members — Jaime Resendez (District 5), Jaynie Schultz (District 11), and Adam Bazaldua (District 7) have issued a joint memo in support of making her interim city manager, according to several media reports.

Mayor Eric Johnson, however, has been far more cautious in rushing to appoint someone to the most important un-elected City position less than a week after Broadnax said he would resign, especially since the city manager is expected to remain at the helm until early June.

“There is simply no need or reason to rush this process, and any decisions about how to move forward should be made in a manner that inspires public confidence,” Johnson wrote in a memo.

“As you know, the city manager’s resignation is not effective until June 3, and we can very easily add these items to an upcoming regularly scheduled agenda meeting to allow for meaningful discussion and full participation from all 15 duly elected members of the City Council on these vital matters.”

Johnson listed five qualities that Dallas should look for in its next city manager in his newsletter this week, saying Broadnax’s successor should be someone who: puts public safety first, prioritizes taxpayers, is focused on the basic services residents need, is accountable, and has good communication skills.

As previously reported by The Dallas Express, the Dallas City Council will convene at 1 p.m. for a briefing on how to move forward with selecting a new official city manager and, as reported by DMN, consider Tolbert to serve as interim city manager.