Council changes Ellis' contract

DALLAS — The Dallas City Council voted 8-1 on Monday to amend interim City Manager Greg Ellis’ contract to allow him to apply to be the permanent city manager.

The move doesn’t automatically make him city manager, but offers Ellis a chance to compete for the job if the council decides to open a recruitment. It also allows the council a chance to give the job permanently to Ellis without a recruitment.

Councilors Jackie Lawson, Micky Garus and Paul Trahan supported hiring Ellis without a recruitment, saying he would provide certainty for staff and prospective businesses looking at Dallas.

“You can just walk around town in the community and feel the energy that has been lacking for some time in downtown and in the community,” Trahan said.

A portion of the council wanted more information before deciding to hire Ellis permanently.

“I would like to hear some input from citizens,” Councilor Ken Woods Jr. said. “We’ve had citizen panels (in city manager hiring) in the past.”

Councilor Kelly Gabliks said the city hasn’t done its due diligence in hiring a city manager. She said her comments weren’t directed at Ellis, but rather the lack of an official hiring process, including background checks, references and an interview.

In other business:

The Dallas Urban Renewal District advisory committee recommended against moving the new Dallas Senior Center to the former armory site in downtown. The URD owns the armory site.

Ellis pursued getting the center location changed to the armory, saying the site behind the Carnegie Building is less than ideal.

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