The Austin Chronicle

Mayor's Statement on Futrell Retirement

By Wells Dunbar, July 16, 2007, 4:27pm, Newsdesk

Will Wynn stepped away from a photo shoot long enough to issue the following statement. Notice the strong call for a national search and the expectation that Futrell stay in-house, not appointing an interim manager, before her departure:

Austin City Manager Toby Hammett Futrell today announced that she will retire on May 31, 2008 after thirty-one years of service to the City of Austin.

The announcement bookends a remarkable career that saw Futrell rise through the ranks, starting as an entry-level clerk in the Health and Human Services Department, to ultimately lead a municipal workforce of more 10,000 people.

“Toby’s career trajectory is a testament to her abilities,” Mayor Wynn said. “I’ve rarely known a person with such unrelenting drive and dedication.”

The Mayor said that from discussions with other Council members, he believes there is strong agreement that the City should avoid the disruption of administration that could come if an interim manager were appointed while a new, permanent manager is found. Wynn also called for a broad, national search to find Futrell’s successor.

“For three decades Toby has had the City’s best interest as her number one priority, and today’s announcement is another case in point. She clearly recognizes the lead time Council will need in order to implement an appropriate process for finding her replacement and transitioning directly to a new manager,” Wynn said. “My hat is off to her.”

Wynn said he anticipates the Council members will discuss next steps in executive session of the July 26 City Council meeting.

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