The City of Austin operates as a council-manager form of government, where City Council sets the policy and budget and the City Manager implements both.
Or viewing things through a corporate lens: the City Council is effectively the Board of Directors for the City, and it is chaired by the Mayor. The Board hires the CEO — or City Manager, in this case— who’s in charge of carrying out the day-to-day administrative operations for the entire organization.
The Austin City Manager thus oversees operations for 41 departments and offices with more than 12,000 employees and a budget of $3.7 billion.
As a result, the selection of a City Manager is the one of the most consequential decisions a City Council will make. Austin is currently in the midst of a nationwide search for its next City Manager after Marc Ott announced last August that he was leaving the position for a job in Washington, DC.
To bring the public into the process, City Council appointed a citizens task force — the City Manager Search Advisory Task Force, to be specific—to provide recommendations to Council and the search firm that was hired to find candidates. The Task Force just released a public survey with questions aimed at building out the profile of the next City Manager.
Click here to complete the quick survey.
It’ll only take a few minutes of your time. The questions:
- What skills and abilities are most important for someone to possess to manage our city? This could include previous job experience, education, etc.
- What personal characteristics are most important for our next city manager to embody to lead our unique community? Please think about the attributes that would be essential for someone to thrive in this environment.
- What do you see as the most critical challenges Austin will face over the next 5–10 years? Our next city manager is going to have to have the professional skills and personal attributes to tackle these issues, so we think it is important to provide this specific feedback to the City Council.
As a member of Austin’s tech sector, make sure you weigh in to help our community select the best possible candidate for City Manager. Take the survey!
Or, if you want to provide your input in person, there are three upcoming public forums:
- Friday, June 16, 1:00–3:00 p.m. at Town Lake Center, 721 Barton Spring, Assembly Room, Room 130
- Wednesday, June 28, 6:00–8:00 p.m. at City Hall, Council Chambers
- Saturday, July 8, 1:00–3:00 p.m. at City Hall, Council Chambers