Say farewell to Mary Suhm. The Morning News' Rudy Bush broke the news this morning that, come September, she's stepping down as city manager. She said so to the City Council and top staff.
The announcement begins the close of a remarkable 8-year career as city manager that saw the city become a safer place to live and return its focus to its center, restoring its downtown, opening paths to West Dallas, installing miles of trails and bicycle lanes and making major progress on projects that have frustrated city leaders for decades.
The construction of the convention center hotel, the opening of the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge over the Trinity River, the agreement that will see a championship golf course built in one of the poorest parts of Dallas. Each project had Suhm's stamp. In fact, it was her conception to have the architect Santiago Calatrava design three white bridges to span the river and create a new iconic image of Dallas.
This comes as a huge surprise. Just yesterday, City Council members, Vonciel Hill in particular, were gushing over her work sealing the Trinity Forest Golf Course deal and clearly had no clue that their Jesus was soon to ascend.
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There's no indication that her backroom dealings with Trinity East had anything to do with her resignation, but there's also no indication that they didn't. In his piece, Bush suggests that Suhm sees that she'll have fewer allies on the council once Delia Jasso is gone and Linda Koop is replaced by Lee Kleinman.
Updated at 10:41 a.m.: The city passed along Suhm's retirement announcement. She calls her time with the city "a privilege and a joy" and rattles off a few of the things she's most proud of: improved public safety, a revitalized downtown, the success of the convention center hotel, progress on the Trinity River Corridor Progress, and southern Dallas developments like the golf course, horse park, UNT-Dallas, and the mixed-use development on Bexar Street.
She doesn't really say why she's leaving but notes that she's been with the city for 35 years and is comfortable with the direction of the city. The full document is below.