DALLAS - The Dallas City Council went outside the city limits to find its new city manager.
T.C. Broadnax was named Friday as the finalist for city manager and is expected to get formal council approval next week. He has been the city manager in Tacoma, Wash. since 2012, a city of 200,000 people with a budget of $1.8 billion.
“I think he'll increase morale across the board,” said councilman Scott Griggs. “He's a man of great charisma that people love to interact with and naturally gravitate to him as a leader.”
According to his biography on Tacoma’s website, he has more than 22 years of experience in municipal government management and has also worked in San Antonio and Pompano Beach, Fla. He also earned a master’s degree in public administration at the University of North Texas.
Council members selected Broadnax while meeting behind closed doors Friday morning. Recently they met with five finalists for the position who could potentially replace current City Manager A.C. Gonzalez, who will retire in January.
Broadnax is the first city manager in recent memory that did not come from inside city hall.
It’s a big job that includes hiring department heads like a new police chief. Then there’s the nagging problem of the failing police and fire pension fund and lingering lawsuits over fire department pay that could bankrupt the city.
Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said all the candidates did a great job, but Broadnax seemed to have a calm and confident understanding of the city’s problem. He also has experience hiring good people and seems to work well with different people.
“I spoke with my friend [Tacoma] Mayor Strickland yesterday about him, and she was sick that he was interviewing for this job. But she was clear if council chose him, we'd be making a great decision," Rawlings said.
Like Dallas, Tacoma has felt the recent heartache of losing police in the line of duty.
"He's hired a chief of police in Tacoma, today he's at a funeral of an officer they lost a week and a half ago, so he's been through some of those tragedies, has tenure and experience in that,” Rawlings said.
Broadnax’s salary has not been disclosed, yet. Gonzalez currently earns $400,000 per year.
Council members are expected to unanimously vote for Broadnax on Wednesday.