City of Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson is not alone in his displeasure with the job performance currently offered by City Manager T.C. Broadnax, and one civic leader has seen enough.
“Mr Broadnax’s inability to improve the City’s permitting office’s execution caused millions in lost revenue as businesses relocated out of Dallas to suburbs or purposely avoided Dallas while relocating to DFW,” Louis Darrouzet, CEO of the Metroplex Civic and Business Association (MCBA)* in Dallas, told The Dallas Express in an email.
“This level of performance would not be acceptable in the private sector, yet in the public governmental realm, more than two years have gone by with no signs of improvement.”
Darrouzet’s comments follow news that the Dallas city manager is again under scrutiny by those he works with and the citizens he serves.
On June 11, The Dallas Express reported that members of the Dallas City Council are considering firing or disciplining City Manager Broadnax, according to a memo from the mayor. The document called for a special council meeting over Broadnax’s alleged role in the city’s troubled construction permitting operations.
Darrouzet said the call for action against City Manager Broadnax was to be expected.
“It’s no Surprise. Mr Broadnax has had the opportunity to produce an actionable plan to solve the disorderly state of our City’s permitting office and has failed to do so,” Darrouzet said.
Darrouzet said that MCBA has heard from members who have voiced concerns about the permitting matter, noting that builders, developers, and homeowners who are trying to renovate are “fed up.”
“Mr. Broadnax’s delay to respond to Council’s requests for an actionable plan has caused our city to miss out on millions of dollars in revenue,” he said. “Dallas is a pillar in one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the Nation, but continues to miss out on beneficial opportunities as a result of being a challenge to interact with.”
City Manager Broadnax was attending the Texas City Management Association conference in Austin when the request for the special meeting regarding the future of his employment was submitted. However, he released the following statement:
“Periodic performance review is critical to me and all city employees to demonstrate progress and ensure transparency for our residents, taxpayers, and stakeholders. I am proud of the hard work which has led to 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 improve the lives of Dallas residents in ways that are responsible, equitable, accountable, and legitimate, together as One Dallas.”
Carolyn King Arnold, a city councilwoman from Dallas District 4 named The Dallas Express Crime Boss of the Month in January, said that firing Broadnax “is not in the best interest of this city” and feels Dallas needs consistency if it is going to fix the issues in its systems.
Arnold was joined by councilmembers Jaime Resendez, Omar Narvaez, and Paul Ridley in the belief that Broadnax should keep his job because he is “making progress” in addressing the city’s problems.
Similarly, Randal Bryant of Dallas Downtown Democrats told The Dallas Express now is not the time to change leadership.
“I think the Mayor and City Council should always hold its leadership accountable and no one is above the scrutiny of periodical performance reviews,” said Randall. “However, with heavy consideration given to the current budget season and other major projects in the pipeline throughout the entire city, now is not the appropriate time to consider a change in the city manager.”
Councilmembers Paula Blackmon, Cara Mendelsohn, and Gay Donnell Willis also call for Broadnax’s review.
“Several of my duly elected colleagues on the Dallas City Council have made it clear in recent days that they also believe it is time for a change,” Mayor Johnson said. “We are ready to move forward and discuss how best to build for the future of our great city and its amazing people, and that is why I have placed the item on the City Council’s agenda for next week.”
The 15-member council has options after coming out of the executive session: it could choose to reconvene to open session, adjourn, or outright fire Dallas City Manager Broadnax.
*Disclosure: The Dallas Express Publisher Monty Bennett is the CEO of Ashford, Inc. which is a contributor to and member of MCBA.