(Jordan Vonderhaar for The Texas Tribune)

Local Government

A Complete Look at the New Members of Dallas’ City Council Committees

Chad West is the only freshman to be appointed as a committee chair.

On Friday, Mayor Eric Johnson announced his long-awaited appointments for Dallas’ City Council Committees. Of note: the freshman Chad West (North Oak Cliff’s representative) captures a spot as a chair. Newcomers Paula Blackmon (East Dallas) and the splash-making Adam Bazaldua (South Dallas) get snubbed as chairs or vice chairs. Mayor Pro Tem Adam Medrano (Deep Ellum/downtown) does not get a spot as a chair, the only multi-termer not to. And Casey Thomas (southern Dallas) and Omar Narvaez (west Dallas) chair the newly created workforce and environment committees, respectively.

City business generally feeds through and gets fine-tuned in these committees before reaching the full City Council. Policy is occasionally returned to committee when the full body disagrees or wants further exploration. The committees themselves give us a glimpse of Council priorities and the appointees show us which officials are going to have the most influence on each.

With input from Council, the mayor decides the names and priorities of the committees and then appoints their members. His committees were approved by City Council through an amendment to the city’s rules of procedure last week. His appointments came out in a memo just two days later.

It’s unclear whether Medrano preferred to chair something. Tristan Hallman, Johnson’s chief of communications, declined to go into specifics about committee requests, and Medrano hasn’t returned a call for comment. Bazaldua expressed disappointment to the Dallas Morning News, although he said he wasn’t taking it personally.

The appointments come a full four months after the mayor’s inauguration, and past the point in the calendar where these things are usually set. Former Mayor Mike Rawlings appointed his committees by August. Some of his leadership choices will stand pat under Johnson. Tennell Atkins will serve as chair of the Economic Development Committee after formerly leading the joint eco devo and housing committee. Jennifer Staubach Gates remains atop government performance. Adam McGough still heads public safety. Lee Kleinman still heads transportation.

West will chair Housing and Homelessness Solutions. Carolyn King Arnold will chair Quality of Life, Arts, and Culture, formerly headed up by Sandy Greyson. Vice chairs and full committees below.

Economic Development:
Chair: Tennell Atkins
Vice Chair: David Blewett
Jennifer Staubach Gates
Adam McGough
Omar Narvaez
Jaime Resendez
Chad West

Environment and Sustainability:
Chair: Omar Narvaez
Vice Chair: Tennell Atkins
Paula Blackmon
David Blewett
Jennifer Staubach Gates

Government Performance and Financial Management:
Chair: Jennifer Staubach Gates
Vice Chair: Cara Mendelsohn
Carolyn King Arnold
Adam Bazaldua
Lee Kleinman
Omar Narvaez
Casey Thomas

Housing and Homelessness Solutions:
Chair: Chad West
Vice Chair: Casey Thomas
Carolyn King Arnold
Paula Blackmon
Lee Kleinman
Cara Mendelsohn
Jaime Resendez

Public Safety:
Chair: Adam McGough
Vice Chair: Carolyn King Arnold
Adam Bazaldua
David Blewett
Adam Medrano
Cara Mendelsohn
Casey Thomas

Quality of Life, Arts, and Culture:
Chair: Carolyn King Arnold
Vice Chair: Jennifer Staubach Gates
Tennell Atkins
Omar Narvaez
Chad West

Transportation and Infrastructure:
Chair: Lee Kleinman
Vice Chair: Adam Medrano
Tennell Atkins
Adam Bazaldua
David Blewett
Adam McGough
Chad West

Workforce, Education, and Equity:
Chair: Casey Thomas
Vice Chair: Jaime Resendez
Paula Blackmon
Lee Kleinman
Adam Medrano

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