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Watson lays groundwork for city manager search

Thursday, June 8, 2023 by Jo Clifton

A post on the City Council Message Board from Mayor Kirk Watson says he has been working on a draft request for proposals for a search firm to help the city find a new city manager. Spencer Cronk, the previous city manager, was fired for his response to last February’s winter storm. Council members also were angered at Cronk’s attempt to finalize a contract with the police union when Council had said they needed to wait for a vote on Proposition A. Watson asked Mayor Pro Tem Paige Ellis and Council members Leslie Pool, Chito Vela and Vanessa Fuentes to act as a committee to help with the initial process. He added an assurance that all members of Council would be able to see the final RFP and comment on it before it is issued. He concluded, “The goal will be for the committee to narrow the field to a few search firms that will then be brought to the full council for review and selection. I hope we accomplish the selection of a firm in the July-August time frame and the firm can begin its work.” Interim City Manager Jesús Garza was appointed to the temporary position on Feb. 15, following Cronk’s dismissal. The Austin Monitor noted that it took 10 months from the selection of the search firm for the last city manager to the hiring of Cronk. The International City/County Management Association offers a handy listing of search firms that do this kind of work.

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