Dallas/ Politics & Govt
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Published on February 28, 2024
Dallas City Council Chooses Kimberly Bizor Tolbert as Interim City Manager Amidst Concerns Over ProcessSource: Carol M. Highsmith, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The Dallas City Council appointed Kimberly Bizor Tolbert as the new interim city manager in a move toward stability following T.C. Broadnax's upcoming June departure. The council, voting 12-2, leaned heavily toward Tolbert who has been with the city for over three decades, starting as an intern, to step up from her current role as deputy city manager. Tolbert's ascension is not without dissent, however, with concerns from Council members Cara Mendelsohn and Paul Ridley over what they perceived as a hasty process.

According to The Dallas Morning News, the approval came just six days after Broadnax announced his resignation effective June 3, inciting discord among council members and citizens, Ridley and Mendelsohn stood against the rush to appoint an interim leader, fearing that potential candidates had not been fully considered and the process slipped too much out of public scrutiny, the decision follows extensive behind-the-scenes discussions, including a two-hour closed session that preceded the final vote.

Dallas faces pressing challenges including a billion-dollar bond election in May and numerous priorities within the city's heavy $4.6 billion budget, issues Tolbert will soon inherit as she assumes her position as interim city manager with a salary of $367,683. "At the end of all of this, what our community simply wants, is to make sure the water is running, the police are working, their fires can get put out, the dogs can get put up, the homeless can be taken care of. Now, that's just a few things," City Councilwoman Carolyn King Arnold reflected on city priorities via FOX 4 News.

While for some the appointment of Tolbert symbolizes continuity and a testament to unity amongst city officials, critics like Mayor Eric Johnson warn against the implications of such a rapid appointment, he was not present at the council meeting, but later expressed his dismay in a statement, saying, "These decisions are too important to the future of our city to have been reduced to shameless politicking, maneuvering, and scheming," Johnson's frustration echoed concerns over transparency and due diligence, the selection of Dallas's permanent city manager is anticipated to stretch out over several months, as per FOX 4 News.