You won't have Chris Heinbaugh to kick around any more -- at least, not as a city official. Four years after the former WFAA reporter left journalism to go to work for Tom Leppert as his chief o' staff, Heinbaugh's outta there as of the June 8 council meeting. He explains why below, but tells Unfair Park "it's been a great four years at City Hall." And that's all he's saying. Here's the note he sent to us media folk earlier in the day:
Today I notified Ms. Suhm and Mayor Caraway that I am leaving my position in the Mayor's office. Effective June 9, I will assume the position of External Affairs Director for the AT&T Performing Arts Center. I'll be handling government relations and institutional press and working with the new CEO, Mark Weinstein, to create exciting and inclusive new programs for the many diverse communities in Dallas and its North Texas neighbors.
As you probably know from my days as a reporter, I have been a lover of the arts and passionate about the ATT PAC and the Dallas Arts District. As chief of staff, I've been fortunate to able to be a cheerleader for the Center both here at home and during our travels across the country and overseas. I am very excited that I will now be joining this tremendous team and its new CEO to continue moving the Center and the city forward.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Whatever. But what about the hat? When do we get the hat?
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"I'm keeping the hat," he says. "Because I'm waiting for the bridge to get done so I can get my picture taken in front of it while wearing the hat, because that's my Christmas card this year." So that's spoiled.