City Manager Mary Suhm is Stepping Down

Categories: City Hall, News

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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.

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.

Mary Suhm reitrement memo.

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Uh, Suhm, have you SEEN Bexar Street lately?


Just enough time for Vonciel to write an epic Ascension speech.

ScottsMerkin topcommenter

"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"

She proud that 

We no longer count theft under $50 and change the way we classify certain crimes to make it look improved

Downton is not revitalized, there is more to do in the Arts District but Downtown itself is still a ghost town after 6 pm

The convention center hotel looks good at a cost to the other hotels downtown, how are their revenue numbers looking

There will never be a toll road out in the river, we renamed a street from industrial but done nothing to make it better.  We built a standing wave that doesnt even wave now and would kill us if we use it.

A horsepark that is not needed and unwanted by most and cant even be afforded by that city and will not get built, and a golf course for the rich

UNT-Dallas- well done

So she is proud to have put money into rich peoples pockets while not giving two shits about police fire streets garbage workers and everyone who actually makes the city run.

Well Done


Mister Mean seldom dances.   But tonight........   Ding dong the witch is dead.


Must be an opening for a used car salesman somewhere.

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

What?, no comment about wanting to spend more time with her family and husband?

If she blew her horn any louder, we would all be deaf.

It will be interesting to see where she ends up.

holmantx topcommenter

The City will owe $1 Billion to the DAllas Police & Fire if we lose that 19-year lawsuit.  The City only collects $500 mil in taxes.  Who wants that headache.

Besides, she gets $235k per year for life so it's time to pull the ripcord.

Let's see....City Attorney Tom Perkins is taking early retirement in August, and now Mary is leaving in September. Nope, no connection at all. Snif, snif, do I smell panic in the air?


Awww, Vonciel won't have "her girl" to perform her oral skills on. Can't wait for that final council send off. Are tickets available for that yet?

Sharon_Moreanus topcommenter

Does this mean there is a real baby jesus.

ScottsMerkin topcommenter

so many people/companies owe her for her years of dedicated support of their pet projects and back room deals, she will work for whomever she wants, work being a relative term, she will just officially join the payroll of one of those companies


She should have done this on February 7th.

mcdallas topcommenter

Any guesses as to where she'll next appear?  VP at Trinity East?


@markzero Suhm is going to hell in a handbasket, and I hope she has enough extra room to take Vonciel Hill and Betty Culbreath with her. Those three should spend eternity together sequestered away from all the other evil doers in the world. It would be most fitting if they could spend eternity in San Francisco or New Orleans.

TheCredibleHulk topcommenter


I'll make sure to purchase earplugs for that one.

listening to her speak is excruciating.

primi_timpano topcommenter

Seriously. $250k for life? Is some of this from her own contributions?

primi_timpano topcommenter

No, but sometimes prayers are answered as wished.


@mcdallas Did the Dallas Arts District replace Veletta Lill yet?

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