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New memo says Dallas City Hall will lose two more executive team members

A memo to the City Council on Monday revealed that the city of Dallas still has three leadership roles to fill, including one of the top positions.

Interim City Manager Kimberly Bizor Tolbert told the Council that Deputy City Manager Jon Fortune and Chief of Staff Genesis Gavino informed her they planned to leave their posts. In her Monday memo, she says Fortune’s last day will be June 7, and Gavino’s last day will be May 31. Both will head to Austin to work with former Dallas City Manager TC Broadnax: Fortune will fill a vacant position as deputy city manager, and Gavino will be a special assistant to Broadnax, according to a memo to the Austin City Council Monday.

Fortune joined the city in 2017, first as assistant city manager and then as deputy city manager – a title Tolbert also held before being named interim city manager. He oversaw the Dallas Fire-Rescue, the Dallas Police Department, the City Marshal’s Office, the 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 guide the city through various challenges and crises,” Tolbert said.

Gavino also joined the city in 2017, first as an assistant to then-City Manager TC Broadnax and later as a Resilience Officer in the city’s Office of Equity and Inclusion. In 2022, she became chief of staff to the city manager. Tolbert said she has been instrumental in improving internet access through efforts such as the Digital Navigators program and has helped deploy Wi-Fi services in the community. She also worked with local school districts to provide CARES Act grants, and to secure a grant from the state to enroll eligible households in internet subsidy programs.

“Because of its commitment and dedication, the city was recognized by the National Digital Inclusion Alliance as a Visionary Digital Inclusion Pioneer for 2023, a title given to only 47 cities in the country,” Tolbert said.

On Tuesday evening, the DeSoto City Council will vote to hire Dallas Assistant City Manager Majed Al-Ghafry as 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 last week by the city of Topeka, Kansas. He will start there as city manager on June 11. A few days later, Tolbert announced that she had hired former Sanger City Manager Alina Ciocan to take over his duties, which included overseeing code enforcement, sanitation, Dallas Animal Services, 311 and the city’s Office of the Homeless solutions.

On Monday, Tolbert said she would announce new appointments to the city’s executive team this week. This week marks the third week of personnel 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 has written about real estate, education policy, the stock market, and crime throughout her career, and sometimes all at once. She hates lima beans and 5 a.m. and takes SAT practice tests for fun.