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Council names eight candidates for City Manager post
Friday, January 4, 2008 by Austin Monitor
The Austin City Council named eight semi-finalists for the job of City Manager Thursday afternoon after a three-hour meeting in executive session to review the resumes of candidates collected by an executive search firm.
The two remaining internal candidates are Assistant City Manager Rudy Garza and Assistant City Manager Laura Huffman.
Huffman has been an Assistant City Manager since 2002. She was hired from
“We obviously have a lot of confidence in
Council Member Lee Leffingwell agreed that the two current city employees on the list would bring some attributes to the job that outside candidates could not. But he also said the city could benefit from the perspective offered by an outside voice. ”There are strengths in having an internal candidate and strengths in having an external candidate,” he said. “Someone from the outside is apt to bring in new ideas, new ways of looking at things and new ways of doing things. On the other hand, somebody who’s been around here for a while has that institutional memory that’s so valuable in getting things done. So we’re going to have to try to balance those two positive aspects.”
Of the five outside candidates, two are from cities in
The three remaining candidates come from across the country.
Cauthen, Burley, and Ott are African-American, which means four of the seven semi-finalists are minorities. Two are women. “Our efforts to diversify are the result of a long period of city governments and state governments being the place where people of minority groups had openings,” said Leffingwell. “Now we’re looking at 20 and 30 years after this process began, and I believe that’s why you see such a high-percentage of well-qualified, able minority candidates in city government.”
The semi-finalists will be in town next week for face-to-face interviews with members of the Council.
As they go into the interview process next week, each Council Member has a list of qualities he or she is seeking in the next City Manager. “I would say that I’m looking for a City Manager who is primarily an administrator and a manager, sort of an ‘under the hood’ person…out in the kitchen, getting the job done,” said Leffingwell, “making the city actually operate the way a big city like this needs to operate to make it smooth for everybody.”
McCracken said he would be looking for a candidate able to deal with the challenges brought on by the city’s rapid growth. “
McCracken also said the person the city hires could be on-board by late January or early February, even though current City Manager Toby Futrell does not plan to retire until May. “We have to honor her retirement contract and her retirement vests in May. She’ll be in a consulting role once the
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