City Manager Selection Details Emerge

What does the timeline for installing a new city manager mean for the candidates?

Suppose we should mention how yesterday the mayor's office released a memo detailing the timeline and selection process for hiring Austin's next city manager. Wonks and inside ballplayers less than sympathetic to current management (you know, BTP's only readers) were concerned the search terms might be such that they'd give a certain "internal" candidate the home-field advantage. What's the verdict?

Jan. 3 or 4, search firm Arcus brings back their big-book of applicants for the city to peruse; in executive session, City Council will "narrow the list of external candidates to a manageable number of the most superior candidates (perhaps as few as three) for the first round of face-to-face interviews." But the city has also created a separate track for "internal" candidates to apply; they "look forward to as many as three highly-qualified current City employees applying." It seems to us that reserving a default place in the semifinals for the top city applicant(s), alongside the top applicants in the known universe, is a little bit of an edge.

The other hurdle for external candidates comes Jan. 8 and 9, when the city begins their first round of face-to-face interviews. Yes, you read that right; applicants hoping for the gig have five days to hightail it down to Texas for their close-up. Considering that Arcus was tasked with bring back the best – i.e., people possibly already employed in high-profile gigs – this rapid turn-around might make for some scheduling difficulties – I mean, if you're the assistant city manager to Wonderland USA, you might have problems taking time off. What if the rainbow-waterfall is on the fritz? But if you're a real leader, wizard, Batman, or whatever council's looking for, you should be able to swing that shit, right?

After that, council narrows it down to the top two applicants. Final interviews and presentations come Jan. 16; council will make their decision and announce their selection at the regularly scheduled council meeting the next day, Jan. 17. Excitement!

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More City Manager Search
A Two-Horse Race
City Manager Search
Council selects finalists for city manager – public meeting Tuesday

Michael King, Dec. 8, 2017

Ott's City Manager Naming Under Way (Updated)
Ott's City Manager Naming Under Way (Updated)
Ott to be named city manager in a moment

Wells Dunbar, Jan. 17, 2008

More City Council
Council Recap: Melting Snow Everywhere, And Not A Drop to Drink
Council Recap: Melting Snow Everywhere, And Not A Drop to Drink
As water crisis continues, City Hall tries to expedite storm recovery

Austin Sanders, Feb. 26, 2021

Council Recap: Taking It (For) the Streets
Council Recap: Taking It (For) the Streets
New impact fee plan makes its first trip to the dais

Austin Sanders, Nov. 13, 2020

More by Wells Dunbar
Top 10 City Council Stories
Top 10 City Council Stories
Dais and months

Jan. 6, 2012

City Hall Hustle: The Hustle Bids Farewell ...
City Hall Hustle: The Hustle Bids Farewell ...
To the beating hearts of a great city

Dec. 30, 2011

KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

City Manager Search, City Council, Laura Huffman, Arcus, City Staff

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle