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Council approves city manager search plan

Monday, June 12, 2017 by Jack Craver

What kind of city manager does the public hope City Council hires? On Thursday, Council approved a plan to find out. The resolution, which passed unanimously, calls for the City Manager Search Advisory Task Force to conduct four public meetings over the next month and for Council members to elicit feedback from their districts. Originally, the resolution called for Council members to hold a public meeting in their district before the end of the month. However, Council Member Leslie Pool said that she might not be able to organize a meeting in that time frame. She suggested delaying approval of the meeting schedule but garnered little support from her colleagues, several of whom argued that the process needed to start as soon as possible. Council Member Alison Alter pointed out that some potential candidates for the job may not be interested if they aren’t able to get settled in Austin before the beginning of the school year. She even invited her colleague to “piggy-back” on the meeting she had set up in her district, which is adjacent to Pool’s. Council Member Jimmy Flannigan also didn’t view the tight schedule as a challenge, noting that he has a town hall meeting in his district every month. Nor did Council Member Ora Houston: She does four a month. In the end, Council unanimously accepted a small change to the resolution by Pool that substituted district “meetings” for district “input.” Based on the input it receives from Council members and the public, the task force will deliver a recommendation to Council on the ideal “profile” of the next city manager on July 19.

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