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Dallas Leaders Discuss Next Step In City Manager Search

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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - Five candidates from five different cities are all vying to become the next Dallas City Manager. They had a week to get to know the needs and issues of the city and its people, and each of the candidates has met face-to-face with members of the Dallas City Council.

Now, on Friday, the council will hold a special meeting to review the finalists and discuss what is next in the selection process.

Council members have roughly seven weeks to fill the position before the current City Manager steps down. A.C. Gonzalez has held the role since January 2014. He was the Assistant City Manager from 1988 to 1995, and then again starting in 2006. Just prior to being officially named as Dallas City Manager, he served as the city's interim City Manager.

Gonzalez announced his retirement in May.

The next individual selected to run the city will face a number of challenges right from the start -- for example, hiring the next police chief, stablizing the police and fire pension fund and dealing with city streets that are in need of hundreds of millions of dollars in repairs.

It has been a busy week for the five finalists. They toured Dallas Love Field and other city sites, and met with members of both the public and local community groups. More than 100 people applied for the job, and the field has been whittled down to just five candidates.

  • T.C. Broadnax, Tacoma City Manager
  • Jim Twombly, Tulsa City Manager
  • Maura Black Sullivan, COO of City of Chattanooga
  • Jelynne LeBlanc-Burley, former San Antonio Deputy City Manager
  • Mark McDaniel, Dallas Assistant City Manager

City council members have previously said that they want someone who understands the culture and challenges of Dallas. But just one of the candidates is from the Dallas area. The others are outsiders. "This is not really one of those jobs where you have on-the-job training," said council member Carolyn King-Arnold. "You have to know Dallas coming here and be ready."

Council member Philip Kingston is looking for someone with revolutionary thinking. "We need someone with fresh ideas," he said. "Fortunately for us, I think we have several candidates who fit the bill."

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