Dallas' new city manager will have a hefty to-do list once he takes over in a month.
From diving into the city's pension crisis to picking a new police chief, T.C. Broadnax says he plans to hit the ground running.
“Are you ready?" asked reporter Lori Brown.
"I am ready,” he confidently replied.
Starting in February, Broadnax will inherit a number of challenges. Finding a successor to retired Police Chief David Brown will be tough but may be the easiest job that Broadnax will have. He says he already has a timeline for picking a new police chief.
“I think all options are on the table,” the upcoming city manager said. “Hopefully, we'll cast a wide net and get a lot of people interested in the position. That will hopefully take three to four months, and we'll be able to find the best police chief in the country.”
Broadnax says he plans to meet with leaders from the Dallas police unions once he moves into his job full time. He didn't always see eye to with leaders at his former city.
The president of the Tacoma Police union says Broadnax downsized an already depleted department that untimely caused a spike in crime. But he says the cuts had to be done.
“When I got to Tacoma, we were experiencing significant budget challenges. Police and Fire made up 60% of the budget. There were not a lot of options,” he explained. “We began to add back resources in the police department this year. They'll continue doing that going forward as the financial situation continues to improve.”
Broadnax is aware that the city is postponing a bond that would help fix streets but says he’sno stranger to budget challenges.
“We have to look annually at our maintenance budgets and spend some time with staff truly understanding the budget,” he said. “We've had the same issues in San Antonio, Tacoma and Florida. Streets are always notorious.”
Broadnax, who will be earning $375,000 in his first year, comes to Dallas at a time when the mayor has publicly stated that problems with the Dallas Police and Fire Pension Fund threaten to bankrupt the city.
“I wouldn't cast a dark shadow and think that will rule the day. I think we'll be fine,” he said. “We just need to all sit around at the table and get going on finding solutions."
Even though Broadnax doesn't officially start his job at city hall until February, he is already splitting his time between Dallas and with his current job in Washington.