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Politics & Government

Meet the Next City Manager of Dallas: Mark McDaniel

The five finalists were announced today. But there's really only one.
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Well, we’ve got the names. Let’s break them down, based on their résumés.

James Twombly. He’s the director of administration and the city manager of Tulsa. Zac insists that his last name is pronounced “toom•blee.” You know, because the numeral 2 is spelled “two.” That’s insane. So is the idea that someone from Tulsa is going to run Dallas. Odds he’ll be hired: zero.

Jelynne LeBlanc-Burley. Jelynne like Magellan? Another interesting name. She’s the president and CEO of the JLB Group, “a consulting firm providing professional services in the areas of talent development, project management, and leadership training.” Her previous post was at a San Antonio firm called CPS Energy. That firm did not have an initialism that matches LeBlanc-Burley’s own initials, which the JLB Group does. LeBlanc-Burley left CPS in February “to pursue other opportunities.” So this woman left a job for the vaguest reason possible just eight months ago. She founded her own company named after herself. Now she wants to run Dallas. Odds she’ll be hired: infinity zero.

T.C. Broadnax. Holy crap! The guy who flew the chopper in Magnum P.I. wants to be our city mana — oh. He’s the city manager of Tacoma, Washington? That’s different. Well, okay. Let’s look on the bright side. Tacoma has a population of 200,000. That’s nearly 1/6 the size of Dallas. And he got a master’s from the University of North Texas. Go, Mean Green! Odds he’ll be hired: 1 in 1,999,999,999.99

Maura Black Sullivan. She’s the COO of the city of Chattanooga. I bring your attention to a section of her résumé called Certifications & Continuing Education. There is but a single entry in that section. It is the following: “Attended University of Memphis School of Law, gaining one and a half years of coursework toward a Juris Doctorate, 1990–1991.” So she dropped out of law school. But it’s under “continuing education,” so she might go back? Whatever. That’s a small matter. The real problem with Sullivan is that she puts double spaces not just after periods — but after semicolons, too! Odds she’ll be hired: N.A. Sullivan will drop out of contention, just like she did at the University of Memphis.

Mark McDaniel. He’s the only one with letters after his name. He’s the only one who lists publications on his résumé. He also went to the University of North Texas, and he already works at City Hall — but he hasn’t worked there too long. He’s an insider-y outsider. He’s a really nice guy. He runs every morning at White Rock Lake. I told you back in September that this would happen. Odds he’ll be hired: bet the house.

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