The Austin Chronicle

City Hall About to Explode?

By Wells Dunbar, September 12, 2007, 4:26pm, Newsdesk

Eclipsed by City Council's adoption of the Fiscal Year 2008 budget on Monday was another item of no small importance. Before the 11th-hour social services spend-a-thon marking the budget passage, the dais unanimously passed an item from council allocating $40,000 for "executive search and recruitment services" in the city's search for Toby Futrell's replacement as City Manger, and a companion item funding it out of the city's one-time funds.

Mike Martinez, who has no love lost with Futrell, called the incident "another joke." "It should've never had to be an item from council," Martinez told Chronic. "It was a directive from the City Manager: 'Mayor, Council, you guys are owning the search [with this item.]' That's fine, the way she portrayed it. But the bottom line is under her administrative authority she wasn't going to add an item looking for her successor. And to say we had to take it from one-time expenditures – there's enough in HR budget." As the City Manager's office is the one preparing the council agenda, it's interesting if she wouldn't put the item up of her own volition. Hell, we probably wouldn't either, but that's probably why we're not in public service.

See Beside the Point in tomorrow's Chronicle for more with Martinez regarding fallout from his Futrell flame-war. Things sound very tense at City Hall right now. "I don't know but I can tell you the sentiment is growing among staff; council members are talking about it," says Martinez. "If things continue to go in the manner they have, they'll have to be some changes."

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