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DALLAS (CBS11) – The five people who want to help run the City of Dallas next, toured Love Field, Klyde Warren Park, Dallas Police Headquarters and other sites across the city Monday.
Council member Philip Kingston said whoever becomes the new city manager, will face numerous challenges right away.
“Dallas is a great city and its city government is failing it,” said Kingston. “We are not doing a good enough job in this building.”
He cited the city’s police and fire pension fund, which may run out of money in ten years without a plan to save it.
The new city manager will also hire a new police chief to replace David Brown.
Among the finalists, one internal candidate: Dallas Assistant City Manager Mark McDaniel.
Kingston said the city needs revolutionary, not evolutionary change.
“I think what we need is somebody who can innovate,” said Kingston. “We need someone with fresh ideas and I think fortunately for us, I think we have several candidates who fit the bill.”
Kingston said one candidate, T.C. Broadnax, who now runs the city of Tacoma, Washington, received praise from the highly regarded city manager in San Antonio, where he served as an assistant city manager.
Other finalists include: Jelynne Le-Blanc-Burley, who once oversaw San Antonio’s city-owned utility and who’s now a consultant; Maura Black Sullivan, Chief Operating Officer for the city of Chattanooga, Tennessee; and Jim Twombly, Director of Administration/City Manager for Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Dallas council member Carolyn King-Arnold told CBS11, the new city manager must know Dallas’s culture and challenges well.
“This is not really one of those jobs where you have on the job training,” said King-Arnold. “You have to know Dallas coming here and be ready day one.”
Aside from public safety, the city’s streets need hundreds of millions of dollars in repairs, and while Dallas is experiencing a real estate and jobs boom, King-Arnold said they still need to improve the quality of life for all.
“You’ve got to take control of your departments as it relates to stray dogs, you’ve got to take care of the homeless issue, the seniors’ needs, you’ve got to address the neighborhoods trying to support schools,” she said.
The five finalists will meet with Mayor Mike Rawlings and city council members and community groups Tuesday and Wednesday.
The Dallas City Council will hold a special meeting Friday to discuss the candidates and the next steps in the process.
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