Editor's note: This story has been updated to include comments from City Council and T.C. Broadnax.

Dallas City Manager T.C. Broadnax has been chosen to serve as Austin's next permanent city manager, Mayor Kirk Watson announced March 26.

City Council's preliminary selection of Broadnax wraps up a months-long search and came after a full day of private interviews and deliberations, as well as a public town hall with finalists Broadnax and Denton City Manager Sara Hensley March 25.

Broadnax already tendered his resignation in Dallas and is expected to depart his post there later this spring before taking over as Austin's top government executive.

Council's initial March recommendation of Broadnax came from a subcommittee—Watson, Mayor Pro Tem Leslie Pool and members Paige Ellis, Chito Vela and Vanessa Fuentes—that's helped manage the process.

Next, city officials could vote to move forward with contract negotiations and hiring Broadnax on April 4. Pay details and an employment timeline would be determined through next steps.

In a statement, Broadnax briefly detailed his approach for the Austin role and expressed appreciation for his time in Dallas.

"I am honored and I look forward to the City Council’s vote to allow me to serve as Austin’s next city manager. With the continued growth of our state’s capital city, I am mindful of the critical needs we must urgently address and I am committed to doing so with a collaborative, transparent, inclusive and equitable approach," Broadnax said. "I also want to thank the Dallas City Council, city staff, and residents for the opportunity to serve as their city manager for the last seven years."

In a text message, Hensley credited Austin's search process for being "transparent and open" and said she was proud to have been considered.

What they're saying

Pool, who served on council's search subcommittee, said Broadnax's track record led her to recommend him for the role.

“It was important to me to have a thoughtful, inclusive process with plenty of opportunity for city staff and public input, and I’m grateful to the candidates for their professionalism and clear passion to serve Austinites. Both candidates interviewed and presented exceedingly well, but T.C. Broadnax tipped the balance for me in managing a city of our size and demonstrating the ability to work through very difficult controversies," she said in a statement. "That experience will help Austin meet our challenges now and into the future. I thank Sara Hensley for her service to Austin and for putting herself forward for the city manager role."

Council member Mackenzie Kelly said Austin officials were lucky to have chosen between two "extremely qualified" candidates, and that she looked forward to more community discussion ahead of a possible April vote to advance the hiring.

“I’m excited and I’m looking forward to the future of the city of Austin under the leadership of a new city manager, and I’m thankful for the work that our interim city manager has done. And I’m continuing to be open to feedback from the community on the decision that we’ve reached today," she told Community Impact.

Council member Zo Qadri said Broadnax's past experience helped lead council to its preliminary choice.

"It is very exciting that council has reached the decision to hire TC Broadnax as the next city manager for the City of Austin," Qadri said in a statement. "We had a rigorous and lengthy discussion among council members, where we ultimately decided that his breadth and depth of experience, coupled with positive feedback, put Mr. Broadnax over the top. I look forward to working with him as we approach Austin’s opportunities and tackle our city’s issues together in the future."

Fuentes, also on the council search committee, credited Broadnax's experience—but noted some worry about his relationship so far with local labor groups.

"Today I joined colleagues in recommending TC Broadnax as our next city manager. Mr. Broadnax comes with the experience needed to manage a city like Austin with a commitment towards equity and empathy," Fuentes said in a statement. "As we move forward to address our city’s most pressing challenges, it’s critical that our next city manager engages in robust conversations with our labor leaders. I stand in firm support of our labor unions and want to ensure the concerns that were raised during the interview process are addressed. I look forward to working with Mr. Broadnax and moving our city forward."

Council member Ryan Alter said he hopes to see the city tackle pressing issues and improve under new leadership.

"I want to congratulate TC Broadnax on his selection and really look forward to getting to work together to not just solve the pressing challenges facing Austin, but build on all the areas that already make this such a great place to live," Alter wrote on council's message board. "I also would like to thank Sara Hensley for putting herself forward and being so willing to serve this city we all love."

Council member José Velásquez congratulated Broadnax and thanked Hensley for putting herself up for consideration.

"Felicidades and welcome to our next city manager, T.C. Broadnax. I’m looking forward to the challenges, collaboration and service that provide us with nothing but opportunity to make our city a welcoming place for all," he wrote on the message board. "Huge propers and thanks to Sara Hensley for being a candidate and for considering to coming back to serve her city."

Council member Natasha Harper-Madison applauded both finalists for their involvement, but also said Broadnax's background in Dallas and his perspective on various issues led her to support the proposed hire.

"He spoke candidly and with a great deal of knowledge about transit and mobility and how transit related construction needs to be planned to have the least impact on individuals and businesses with comprehensive plans for mitigation. His perspective on the pervasive and worldwide challenge of homelessness and potential solutions, while recognizing barriers, was insightful and optimistic. I also appreciated his deep commitment to youth empowerment and development—most especially at-risk youth, as well as the importance of diversion and re-entry efforts for people with criminal justice involvement," Harper-Madison said. "His responses to my questions around housing, community land trusts and the importance of pairing the [community land trusts] with land banking, gentrification interruption and pre-empting development with simplified processes and solid land use policies and protections to create and maintain perpetual affordability in neighborhoods on the precipice of being developed were thoughtful and knowledgeable."

Council member Paige Ellis said she supported bringing in a "highly qualified" candidate for the role.

"I am eager to work with Mr. Broadnax to move our city toward a more resilient, inclusive, and equitable community for all," she said in a statement. "We are ready to accomplish great things for our community. My priorities remain focused on reaching our mobility goals on time and being responsive to climate emergencies. Mr. Broadnax’s qualifications, vision, and dedication align seamlessly with our goals.”