Johnson announces the formation of the Mayor’s Working Group on Permitting

Mayor Eric Johnson speaks regarding special presentation during the Dallas City Council, Feb. 9. – Screenshot by The Dallas Examiner/City of Dallas video

 

Special to The Dallas Examiner

 

Mayor Eric Johnson announced the creation of the Mayor’s Working Group on Permitting in a Monday morning memo to the Dallas City Council.

Johnson and the City Council have previously acknowledged problems in the city’s permitting office. Fixing the problems has been a top priority for City Manager T.C. Broadnax.

“Over the past two years, we have been inundated with complaints and concerns about the increasingly slow and byzantine nature of our city’s permitting processes,” Johnson said. “Enough is enough. Dallas deserves better. It is clear that we must now intervene with a new approach.”

The group will be responsible for seeking input, researching solutions, monitoring progress, holding city staff accountable, breaking down silos in city government, assessing potential budgetary impacts, and returning to the relevant City Council committees with any policy proposals deemed necessary to fix the problems in the permitting office.

He said he would appoint Councilmember Paula Blackmon to lead it.

Johnson said he selected Blackmon because of her extensive experience in government and her proven ability to tackle complex, difficult issues. At the mayor’s request last year, Blackmon joined Ad Hoc Committee on General Investigating and Ethics Chairwoman Cara Mendelsohn to guide the mayor’s comprehensive ethics reform proposal through the Dallas City Council.

“I am a firm believer that we work best when we work together and when we hold one another accountable. This is an opportunity for us to really get this right and fix a process that has been broken for a long time.” Blackmon said.

To help the group’s efforts, Blackmon selected Macey Small Davis, a longtime public policy consultant, as her private-sector co-chair.

Davis currently serves the city as the District 13 representative on the Dallas Arts and Culture Advisory Commission. She previously served as the president of The Davis Advocates, a local public policy and planning firm that she founded. Prior to running her own consulting business, Davis worked as the executive vice president of Government Affairs for The Real Estate Council in Dallas and as the first Tax Counsel of Federal Public Policy for the National Federation of Independent Business – known as the NFIB, the nation’s leading small business association.

“I look forward to collaborating with our industry partners – builders, developers and customers – to provide a feedback loop at City Hall that will help us know what is working and what is not,” Davis said.

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