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Dallas’ Chief Financial Officer Resigns

Elizabeth Reich joined Dallas in 2016 and has helped the city navigate many financial challenges and opportunities: a failing pension system, an unprecedented series of tornadoes, a record-breaking bond package, and a pandemic.
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Billy Surface

The city of Dallas is losing its chief financial officer. Elizabeth Reich, who joined the city six years ago, notified City Manager T.C. Broadnax that she plans to resign on June 30 to pursue an unstated opportunity.

Reich has helped the city through a number of crises. She brokered a deal in 2016 to save the police and fire pension system, which had been so badly mismanaged that a run on the fund put Dallas at risk of declaring bankruptcy to avoid a $1 billion liability. Reich helped secure federal emergency dollars following the 2018 tornadoes and throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

The city passed its largest bond ever—$1.05 billion—during her tenure. Reich also helped more than double the city’s annual operating reserves, which, she notes in her resignation letter, was $134 million in 2016 and is now $287 million, enough to run the city for just about 72 days.

She was part of the team that helped privatize Fair Park, freeing the city from day-to-day management and allowing a new operator to invest in the aging buildings and boost programming. By 2024, there will be a new park on the campus, transforming a surface parking lot that was once a neighborhood until it was seized through eminent domain in the 1960s. That doesn’t happen without Fair Park being privatized.

“Importantly, she invested in the employees and the organization because she believes that success is not measured simply by managing current issues, but by achieving long-term effectiveness and financial sustainability,” read a letter to staff from Broadnax announcing her departure. “With a long history of public service, it is no surprise that Elizabeth will continue to serve the residents of Dallas in a new role which will be announced shortly.”

Broadnax has appointed Jack Ireland, the longtime director of Budget and Management Services, as the city’s new chief financial officer. He oversees the city’s operating budget, its capital budget, and the prior two bond programs, in addition to compliance work.

“Inherent in every goodbye is a loss,” Reich wrote. “In this case, I am saying goodbye to a great organization, fabulous colleagues, and important work. However, I decided to seek out a new challenge that would allow me to continue serving the people of Dallas while continuing to grow professionally. I am excited for what is next.”

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Matt Goodman

Matt Goodman

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Matt Goodman is the online editorial director for D Magazine. He's written about a surgeon who killed, a man who…

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