Toby Futrell: Best City Manager in Country or World?
City Council sure loves them some Futrell
By Wells Dunbar,
10:58AM, Fri. Apr. 6, 2007
According to City Council, that's the only question following Futrell's performance evaluation as city manager last night. While the torrent of adulation directed her way may not appear reflected in her raise at first glance – a 3.5% cost-of-living increase of more than $8,000 – bear in mind this comes after last year's whopping $36,000 hike. Her salary is now more than $240,000.
Let's listen in on what everybody said:
Betty Dunkerley: "[I'd like to] thank our city manager for coming through a very tough year. [Editor's note: for the city or for Futrell?] … We've had a massive growth spurt that is unprecedented in Austin's history. … We continue to grow and recover from those dark days. [Editor: With all the mythologizing of the post-9/11 downturn, we're veering into Rudy Giuliani territory.] … [She's] the best city manager in the world, in Austin, Texas."
Jennifer Kim: "She often stays here until 2am working for us and for you. … It's unprecedented to imagine what we're on the verge of, on the cusp of. [Editor: Am I the only one reminded of Caesar crossing the Rubicon?] … In the next three years, we're going to be nearly doubling the value of our land Downtown. … All this takes staff; all this takes an organization headed with very strong leadership."
Brewster McCracken: "The Austin economy is the envy, really, of the world. … I had my superlatives stolen; I was gonna say best city manager in the country." Dunkerley in the background: "Best in the world!"
Sheryl Cole: Futrell's "supportive and responsive."
Lee Leffingwell: "All the superlatives are gone by now. Great job, [a] 4.0. … [She runs] the city, several utilities, public safety, airport, [and still] sits down with each of us for an hour and a half. [Editor: the infamous one-on-ones]."
Mike Martinez: "I'm not gonna sit here and try to pretend that I haven't been critical of some of our city concerns. I've never met someone so determined in my entire life until I met you, someone so determined to succeed and to serve the community."
Will Wynn: She "makes my job as mayor a lot easier. … I just wish Toby would stop talking about a strong mayor form of government. … [Adjourning] It is 8:40pm, and Toby's buying."