‘I wish it had been better’: Exiting Dallas city manager comments on tension with mayor


T.C. Broadnax said him and Mayor Eric Johnson “actually get along” but didn’t see eye to eye on policy issues.

DALLAS — Outgoing Dallas City Manager T.C. Broadnax said his relationship with Mayor Eric Johnson “could have been better” and that the city “would have benefited immensely” if that was the case.

Broadnax, who notified officials of his resignation from City Hall last month, shared his thoughts on his upcoming exit and his relationship with Johnson at a League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) breakfast in Dallas on Saturday morning.

When asked about the reported strain between him and the mayor, Broadnax said he and Johnson “actually get along.”

“We may differ on thoughts and recommendations related to some of the things the city wants to pursue,” Broadnax said. “But those things are guided by the city council, not the city manager. I’m just the individual who is supposed to carry those things out. Sometimes I get caught in the middle. And my personality is one as such that I lead from a position of authority but also understand what my role is, and what impact things that I do or say have on this community.”

Broadnax, who started as city manager in 2017, expressed regret that he and Johnson did not have a good “working relationship similar to my first two years,” when Mayor Mike Rawlings was in office.

“I wish it had been better,” Broadnax said. “But that did not happen.”

Broadnax said it was the “right time” for him to resign and let the city “reset and the council coalesce and unify around a leader they all can support and work with to do work that matters.”

“It’s been a great seven years. I wouldn’t change it for the world. It’s built me and made me a lot better as a person,” Broadnax said. “But I’ll tell you, my love for this city has not diminished.”

Broadnax will remain city manager until June, and then deputy city manager Kimberly Tolbert will take over in the interim. City officials expect the search process to find Broadnax’s permanent replacement will take around seven months.

Broadnax’s history of tension with Johnson goes back several years. Numerous disagreements between the two nearly saw Broadnax’s departure from the role in 2022. He ultimately stayed on before his sudden resignation on Feb. 21.

His exit had been in the works for more than a week and kept secret from Johnson, sources told WFAA.

According to councilmembers WFAA spoke with, Broadnax first approached councilman Jaime Resendez to discuss his potential departure. As part of their discussion, sources confirmed to WFAA, the two agreed to keep their conversation quiet, allowing Broadnax to leave the city on his own terms.

But to do that, Broadnax is said to have asked Resendez to identify a collective of eight city council members who would personally ask him to resign. If eight members — a majority of city council (made up of representatives of 14 districts across the city, plus the mayor) — asked for Broadnax’s resignation, that would then trigger a severance clause in Broadnax’s contract that would allow him to set his own last day in office and to leave to work for another city without any restrictions levied by the City of Dallas.

It could also allow Broadnax to head out the door with a hefty payout. Broadnax was hired to serve the City of Dallas as its city manager at the end of 2016 and officially started the role in 2017. He had the highest annual salary at City Hall, most recently earning $423,247 each year. His contract also included a $700 monthly car allowance.

Johnson acknowledged that he did not know Broadnax’s resignation was in the works.

“I received word of the city manager’s resignation via memo today and briefly spoke with him afterward about his decision,” Johnson in a statement the day of Broadnax’s resignation. “We did not always see eye to eye, but we still worked together to help move this city forward. After his seven years of working for our city, I want to wish him well on whatever comes next.”


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