The Dallas City Council has unanimously selected A.C. Gonzalez for city manager. With 14 years of experience in Dallas as assistant city manager, Gonzalez was the favorite of three candidates heading into the January 21 vote.
The council also considered David Cooke from North Carolina and Deanna Santana from California. Gonzalez, who served as the interim city manager after Mary Suhm retired, was the only candidate from Dallas.
Although a few council members expressed hesitation about appearing to stick with the status quo by selecting an inside candidate, in the end no one voted against Gonzalez taking the helm.
"You've promised change and we've heard you," Jennifer Staubach Gates said.
Phillip Kingston also spoke of a need for change, citing studies that show Dallas City Hall lags behind its peer cities. Mayor Mike Rawlings echoed the criticisms of city government. "We are too slow for our citizens. We are not responsive enough," Rawlings said.
Despite bit of criticism, most council members piled on praise, including Dwaine Caraway, Vonciel Jones Hill, Sandy Greyson and Tennell Atkins, who made the motion to hire Gonzalez.
"You are the right person at the right time," Greyson said.
After the vote, Gonzalez said he was honored by the council's discussion and decision. "This vote of confidence in me is an indication in your belief that positive change can and will be achieved from within," Gonzalez said.
"I’m confident that we can get started on those changes sooner, not later."