After eight and a half years in office, Austin City Manager Marc Ott has officially handed in his resignation.
Ott will move to Washington, D.C. to serve as executive director of the International City/County Management Association. Mayor Steve Adler said City Council will start working to find an interim city manager when they meet next week.
Council will also decide on the process for replacing Ott permanently, but the city manager has offered to stay on board until the end of October so that he can help finish the budget process. “When I took this job, I made it clear that I wasn't coming just to take a job, but to become part of this community,” said Ott.
“We’re one of the safest communities in the country. We're growing, our economy is real strong, I think that that will be Marc Ott's legacy,” Austin Mayor Steve Adler said.
Ott’s reign as city manager was not without its controversy. Ott reprimanded Police Chief Art Acevedo in April, docking his pay for five days for "insubordination." That's a move Councilman Don Zimmerman, district 6, disagreed with.
In fact, Zimmerman called for City Council to consider replacing Ott in June, but nothing ever came of it. Just days later, Council approved a $22,000 per year pay raise for the city manager.
Around that same time, Ott made it clear he was a finalist for a job at the International City/County Management Association.
“We've known for some time that the manager was a finalist, so we, like the community, were waiting for that to run its course. At this point, I think the next step is for us to decide upon, as a Council, a process both for an interim manager and a permanent replacement and I'm sure we'll be discussing that next week,” said Adler.
Friday, Ott told City Council he has officially accepted that position with ICMA.
“The prospect of having a positive impact on more than 10,000 of my peers and cities around the world is something that I just couldn't pass up,” said Ott.
Ott has agreed to stay on board while City Council works to finalize a budget and he said, although his new job will take him to the East coast, it will not be the last Austin sees of him.
“I'm going to Washington to live at some point, but not to the other side of the world. And so, I will maintain a presence here, probably a residence here and I'll be coming back and I'll be paying attention, too, because I have certain expectations about Austin and its bright future,” Ott said.
With big issues like traffic and affordability, navigating Austin’s bright future could be challenging for whoever takes over the city manager position.
Ott was making about $309,000 per year as city manager in Austin. He was the 17th full-time city manager appointed to office in Austin’s history.