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Jo Clifton is the Politics Editor for the Austin Monitor.
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Ott announces Kennard’s departure
Wednesday, July 1, 2015 by Jo Clifton
City Manager Marc Ott announced to the mayor and City Council in a memo on Tuesday that City Attorney Karen Kennard resigned when he informed her that he was reassigning her to the position of government relations officer on a permanent basis. Kennard had the role during the 2015 legislative session on an interim basis. Ott wrote that he believed that “Karen’s skills and experience would be best suited in this government relations role,” praising her work during the session. Kennard, Ott wrote, will be staying at the city for a few months to help with the transition. Ott said he would choose a new interim government relations officer in the next few weeks to coordinate with Kennard during the transition. Anne Morgan, who served as interim city attorney while Kennard was taking care of government relations, will continue in that role, Ott said, as he considers what is best for the City Attorney’s Office. Kennard took over as city attorney in 2011. In his memo, Ott noted that he still has several vacancies on his executive team. He has not filled the position of deputy city manager since the retirement of Mike McDonald last December. (See Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014.) In addition, Ott has not filled the assistant city manager slot vacated by Anthony Snipes at the end of May. Ott said that Mark Washington will continue as an acting assistant city manager for the time being. In the memo, Ott noted that he and his staff have been extremely busy during the past few months, given “the change to district representation, a new Committee structure requiring a dramatic increase in staff support, etc. I want to ensure that my Executive Team is set up in a way to provide the necessary organizational leadership and to support our success.” He said he would be evaluating the last few months’ operations as well as looking at future needs in order to determine the appropriate executive team structure.
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