That's from the official biography of Richardson's next city manager, Dan Johnson, from the City of Richardson's website. That's about all that anyone probably knows about Dan Johnson's background, or at least all that anyone probably remembers, given how dated his pre-Richardson work history is. I, for one, didn't even know that much.Dan Johnson was named Richardson's Deputy City Manager on November 7, 1997, and originally joined the City of Richardson in June 1996. Prior to joining the Richardson staff, Johnson served as City Manager of Carrollton, TX.Source: City of Richardson.
Richardson residents weren't given much time to learn anything about their next city manager before his appointment. One minute and seventeen seconds. That's the amount of time from when Richardson Mayor Bob Townsend announced Dan Johnson as the city council's choice to succeed retiring City Manager Bill Keffler and the time when the city council voted unanimously to make it official. One minute and seventeen seconds is hardly enough time to find the Google search box and type in "Dan Johnson."
After the jump, one of the more interesting hits Google returns.
Did you wonder why the city manager of Carrollton would take a job as an assistant city manager of Richardson? The answer to that question is suggested by one of those hits Google returns:
That's what Carrollton Mayor Milburn Gravley told The Dallas Morning News in 1996 upon resuming the office of Mayor of Carrollton after a two year retirement. Gravley came out of retirement in the wake of "the most tumultuous and divisive period that Mr. Gravley says he can remember in his 65 years as a Carrollton resident.""The problem stemmed from the way in which the city chose to go about doing it. There was a real lack of communication there." Mr. Gravley promises that history won't repeat itself during his tenure. "There is going to be a lot more dialogue going on at City Hall," he said. "We're not going to fight. We're going to sit down and talk and try to work things out."Source: The Dallas Morning News.
The issue in Carrollton should resonate with Richardson residents: redevelopment of a freeway corridor and the city's zoning enforcement plan. It is hoped that Carrollton's result won't be repeated in Richardson: the recall of the mayor and six city council members. Oh, and the "abrupt resignation of Carrollton's city manager, Dan Johnson."
The full story from The Dallas Morning News follows:
Ex-mayor back in office at Carrollton's insistence
The Dallas Morning News - Monday, June 17, 1996
Author: Marice Richter, Staff Writer of The Dallas Morning News
CARROLLTON - Two years ago, Milburn Gravley decided he had done enough civic duty. After 12 years on the City Council, including eight as mayor, he was ready to turn over the reins of leadership to someone else.
His retirement turned out to be short-lived. Now, the man casually regarded as "Mr. Carrollton" is back at his old desk in the mayor's office.
His return was precipitated by events of the past eight months, the most tumultuous and divisive period that Mr. Gravley says he can remember in his 65 years as a Carrollton resident.
Triggering the turmoil was the city's attempt to clean up and redevelop the Interstate 35E corridor, in part by more strictly enforcing business zoning there.
That move prompted an unexpected backlash from business owners and operators, which led to the April recall of Mayor Gary Blanscet and six City Council members.
Then there was the loss to Lewisville of a 2,567-acre tract owned by the family of former Dallas Cowboys owner H.R. "Bum" Bright. Plans call for the tract, formerly part of tiny neighboring Hebron, to be developed with expensive homes, and Carrollton had hoped to annex the land and reap the expected tax bonanza.
Criticism of the city's loss of that property contributed to the abrupt resignation in April of Carrollton's city manager, Dan Johnson .
The cumulative upheaval drew Mr. Gravley back into politics.
"I wasn't ever expecting to come back," he said. "But with everything that was happening, people across the community urged me to come back, so I decided to run again."
Mr. Gravley captured 70.28 percent of the vote in the May 4 mayoral election.
He sees his victory as a vote of confidence for his straightforward style, and he's wasted no time getting down to business. He's convened a meeting with business operators in the freeway corridor and initiated the search for a city manager.
Many challenges lie ahead, he said, but the most daunting could be restoring residents' confidence in their city government.
"We've never had a recall previous to this one," Mr. Gravley said. "But now it's time to put the past behind us and do some healing."
Community leaders said no one is better suited for the task than Mr. Gravley.
"Milburn Gravley is perfect for what Carrollton needs right now," said Ken Marchant, a state representative and former Carrollton mayor. "He should be roaming around Colorado in his Winnebago, but the city needed him and he was gracious enough to step in and help out.
"He has a long history of involvement in this community, and I know a lot of people feel better having him back."
Jimmy Logan, the automotive shop owner who initiated the recall referendum, said Mr. Gravley is probably the best-regarded person in Carrollton.
"It's good to have him back," Mr. Logan said. "He listens to people and works with people."
Jim Schouten, who served on the City Council from 1992 to 1994 and was elected again in May, said Mr. Gravley's return seems to have restored a sense of calm to Carrollton.
"It's like there's been a collective sigh of relief," he said. "Milburn has years of experience in leadership of this community, and in all that time I don't think he's ever given anyone the impression that he couldn't be trusted or was looking out for anything but the best interests of this community."
Without a doubt, the 65-year-old mayor has a vested interest in Carrollton. The great-grandson of A.W. Perry, one of Carrollton's first settlers, he was born in Carrollton and grew up on his family's farm. He attended Carrollton High School and Southern Methodist University and married Sylvia McInnish, also the descendant of a pioneer Carrollton family. They have three children and six grandchildren.
Mr. Gravley has served on dozens of civic boards and committees, including the Dallas County School Board, the Carrollton Planning and Zoning Board and the American Red Cross. He is a member of the Metrocrest Chamber of Commerce and chairman of the Trinity River Authority Advisory Board.
He's received numerous awards and honors, including being named Metrocrest Citizen of the Year in 1989.
For many years, he owned and operated a hardware store in Carrollton's historic district. He retired in 1981 and first ran for City Council in 1982.
"I always thought that politics and owning a business don't mix," he said. "Lots of people encouraged me to run for office, but I wouldn't do it.
"After I retired, several people asked me, `What's your excuse now?' I didn't have one, so I ran for the council."
As a former small-business owner, Mr. Gravley understands the concerns that freeway corridor business owners had about a zoning enforcement plan aimed at redeveloping the area. Many expressed fear that the plan would force them out of business.
At the same time, he recognizes that improving the corridor's appearance is in the city's best interest. He was serving on the council when the freeway ordinance was adopted in 1986. For various reasons, including the downturn in the economy in the late 1980s, it was not enforced.
"When the ordinance was adopted, no one had any disagreement about wanting to improve the condition and appearance of the freeway corridor," he said. "The problem stemmed from the way in which the city chose to go about doing it.
"There was a real lack of communication there."
Mr. Gravley promises that history won't repeat itself during his tenure.
"There is going to be a lot more dialogue going on at City Hall," he said. "We're not going to fight. We're going to sit down and talk and try to work things out.
Source: The Dallas Morning News.
The article above was just one of 26,800 hits returned by a Google search on "Carrollton 'Dan Johnson.'" Way too many to even scroll through in one minute and seventeen seconds. Probably only a tiny handful of the hits are relevant to our Dan Johnson's history. Filtering, reading and analyzing the relevant hits would take a while. Giving the nominee time to correct and explain any unflattering information would take even longer. In the end, it might not change anyone's initial enthusiasm for this pick. But wouldn't it be the prudent thing to do anyway? After all, we're picking the person to run Richardson's city government for the next ... how many years? Don't the citizens of Richardson deserve just a bit longer to mull over this choice and give feedback to the council than one minute and seventeen seconds?