Mayor round table: City Manager search underway

The search is underway for a new Austin city manager. Meanwhile, voters will decide on a $720 million mobility bond during the November election. It's going to be a busy next few months inside city hall, with a variety of issues. With city manager Marc Ott leaving, council will have to find another city manager. In the meantime they've appointed CFO Elaine Hart to be the interim.

“She has a broad view of the entire city and its departments. She spent time at Austin Energy,” Mayor Steve Adler, said.

Adler made a point that they not select an interim who actually wants the city manager job.

That could negatively impact applicants, thinking the local interim has an inside track. Adler says the council will create a committee to select the next city manager. It's a decision that will need to be the right one.

“This next appointment will have generational impact,” said Adler.

Another hot item is Adler's mobility bond that will go on ballots this fall. If it passes, the next city manager will have to hit the ground running. “We're spending $720 million in eight years that's going to be beyond anything we've been able to do before and it's going to require pretty significant management,” said Adler.

Dallas is also searching for a city manager and now a chief of police after David Brown announced his retirement. Adler says the competition is there. He also sounded off on Austin police chief Art Acevedo, saying last week's pride parade showed just how popular he is.

“People push past me so they could take a selfie with the police chief,” said Adler referencing the Pride parade.

“It doesn’t surprise me that he gets offers all the time from other places. I would imagine Dallas would be interested,” said Adler.

There are a plethora of tasks in the coming months, but the selection of the city manager will most certainly be at the forefront. The decision can affect thousands for years to come.

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