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Dallas City Hall Loses Two More From Executive Team to Austin

Deputy City Manager Jon Fortune and Chief of Staff Genesis Gavino are leaving their posts at City Hall. Assistant City Manager Majed Al-Ghafry will be hired as DeSoto's city manager on Tuesday.
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Kelsey Shoemaker

A memo to the City Council revealed Monday that the city of Dallas will have three more leadership roles to fill, including one of its top spots.

Interim City Manager Kimberly Bizor Tolbert told the Council that Deputy City Manager Jon Fortune and Chief of Staff Genesis Gavino informed her that they planned to leave their posts. In her Monday memo, she says that Fortune’s last day will be June 7, and Gavino’s last day will be May 31. Both are headed to Austin to work with former Dallas City Manager T.C. Broadnax. Fortune will fill a vacant deputy city manager seat, and Gavino will be a special assistant to Broadnax, a memo to the Austin City Council said Monday.

Fortune joined the city in 2017, first as assistant city manager and then as deputy city manager—a title also held by Tolbert before she was appointed interim city manager. He oversaw Dallas Fire-Rescue, the Dallas Police Department, the City Marshal’s office, Dallas municipal courts, the Office of Emergency Management, and the Office of Integrated Public Safety Solutions. He also implemented a market-based pay structure for police and firefighters and the Rapid Integrated Group Health (or RIGHT) Care program that paired first responders with mental health professionals during psychiatric calls.

“Jon led the implementation of transformative programs and helped shepherd the City through various challenges and crises,” Tolbert said.

Gavino also joined the city in 2017, first as an assistant to then-City Manager T.C. Broadnax and later as the Resilience Officer in the city’s Office of Equity and Inclusion. In 2022, she became the city manager’s chief of staff. Tolbert said she was instrumental in improving access to the internet through efforts like the Digital Navigators program and helped deploy community Wi-Fi services. She also worked with with local school districts to provide CARES Act matching grants, and securing a grant from the state to enroll eligible households in internet subsidy programs.

“Because of her commitment and diligence, the City was recognized by the National Digital Inclusion Alliance as a 2023 Visionary Digital Inclusion Trailblazer, a designation only given to 47 cities in the nation,” Tolbert said. 

On Tuesday night, the DeSoto City Council will vote to hire Dallas Assistant City Manager Majed Al-Ghafry as its city manager. Al-Ghafry currently leads Dallas’ aviation department, Dallas Water Utilities, public works, transportation, the city’s Office of Bond and Construction Management, and the Office of Environmental Quality and Sustainability.

Assistant City Manager Robert Perez was hired by the city of Topeka, Kansas, last week. He’ll start as city manager there on June 11. A few days later, Tolbert announced that she had hired former Sanger City Manager Alina Ciocan to take over his duties, including overseeing code enforcement, sanitation, Dallas Animal Services, 311, and the city’s Office of Homeless Solutions. 

On Monday, Tolbert said that she would have new appointments on the city’s executive team to announce this week. This week marks the third week of staffing changes in Tolbert’s tenure, which began May 2.

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Bethany Erickson

Bethany Erickson

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Bethany Erickson is the senior digital editor for D Magazine. She's written about real estate, education policy, the stock market, and crime throughout her career, and sometimes all at the same time. She hates lima beans and 5 a.m. and takes SAT practice tests for fun.
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