Wednesday, December 20, 2017 by Stephanie Federico

Council selects Minneapolis official Spencer Cronk as new city manager

City Council unanimously selected Spencer Cronk to be the next city manager.

Cronk has been the Minneapolis city administrator since 2014. Before that, he worked for New York City’s Department of Small Business Services.

“Austin is fortunate to have Spencer Cronk as our city’s next CEO,” Mayor Steve Adler said in a statement. He “excels at bringing people together to address tough community challenges. He’s a proven manager who gets Austin’s special spirit and soul because it’s within him, too.”

Cronk was up against Howard Lazarus, who ran Austin’s Public Works Department for nearly eight years. He left Austin last year to become the city administrator in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

The city manager position is the highest-ranking position at City Hall. The manager is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the government.

The city’s chief financial officer, Elaine Hart, has been serving in the role on an interim basis since Marc Ott left last year.

Last week, the top two candidates participated in a public town hall following a closed interview process. That town hall is available on the city’s website. KUT compiled their answers to three big questions asked at that town hall, and those videos are also available online. In addition, the candidates made themselves available to the media last week, following the town hall.

This story was produced as part of the Austin Monitor’s reporting partnership with KUT. Photo courtesy of the city of Austin.

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Key Players & Topics In This Article

Austin City Council: The Austin City Council is the body with legislative purview over the City of Austin. It offers policy direction, while the office of the City Manager implements administrative actions based on those policies. Until 2012, the body contained seven members, including the city's Mayor, all elected at-large. In 2012, City of Austin residents voted to change that system and now 10 members of the Council are elected based on geographic districts. The Mayor continues to be elected at-large.

city manager: The city manager oversees the administrative segment of the City of Austin and is one of four Council direct reports.

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