We learned November 29 who the five finalists are for the city manager gig. Tomorrow the City Council will pick one. It feels like D Magazine interns go through a more rigorous selection process. Is it just me? Anyway, I told you back in September that assistant city manager Mark McDaniel would get the job, and I still think that’s the case. But today I want to draw your attention to the man from Tacoma, T.C. Broadnax. When we learned about the five finalists, he was the only one, aside from McDaniel, that I gave even a slim chance to. I put his odds at 1 in 1,999,999,999.99. My prescience astounds even me. Because I’m hearing that Broadnax has interviewed well with council members. You know those handful of jokers who bet at the beginning of the Premier League season last year that sorry Leicester would win? Those folks are laying money on Broadnax. (I have a beard. I watch soccer. Deal with it. Also, yes, the only attribution I am going to offer you for my assertion that he has interviewed well is the vague “I’m hearing.” Like the ability of my beard to stay rust colored even as I approach the age at which most men go gray, some things must remain a mystery. Really, FrontBurner needs a footnote function.)
Okay, so, Broadnax. Here’s what I want you to consider: His name is T.C. I’ve given this a lot of thought, and the only reason I can come up with for the Council having picked A.C. Gonzalez back in 2013 was that his name is A.C. The initials sound cool. That same thinking might help Broadnax. “Let me get T.C. on the horn and see what he thinks.” That sounds way better than “Let me talk to Mark.” So maybe I was off when I put his chances at 1 in 1,999,999,999.99. I would consider changing that to 1 in 1,999,999,000.
Except, hang on. Here’s a 78-page PDF I want you to read right now. It’s not just the short résumés of the five candidates. It’s their own arguments for why they should get the job. You’re busy. Skip to T.C.’s entry (man, that’s a catchy name). Notice how he struggles mightily with subject-verb agreement. And check out this two-sentence paragraph, the last one in the section titled “Why I Should Be the City Manager for the City of Dallas, TX”:
Even as a young professional, with a modest understanding of the role, impact, and expectations of a City Manager, I understood the significance and responsibility that leading one of the largest cities in the country would entail. Now, 23 years later, the opportunity to take on the types of challenges now facing the City of Dallas makes this the right time to apply what I have learned as a local government leader in large urban environments and distinguishes me as the right choice to be the next City Manager of the City of Dallas.
Diagram that last sentence. I dare you. He’s saying that the opportunity makes this the right time for him to apply. He’s also saying that the opportunity distinguishes him as the right choice. In other words, if there weren’t a job opening, he wouldn’t apply for it. But the fact that there is an opening makes him the right choice.
It’s just one sentence. I’m being pedantic. But I’ve changed my mind about adjusting his odds upward. Now they’re going down. Put your money on Broadnax if you want to. Mark McDaniel. He’s still the sure bet.