Former Chronicle Editor Joins Flannigan’s Staff
Finally, someone with some actual credentials in public office!
New council members beget new council staff. Friday's swearing in of new District 6 representative Jimmy Flannigan signals the official hiring of former Chronicle senior editor Kate Messer (along with fellow staffers Marti Bier, Ceci Gratias, Taylor Smith, and Lizzy Carol). Messer tells the Chronicle she'll serve as Flannigan's communications director. That makes Bier, who once worked under former Council Member Randi Shade, the office's chief of staff. Gratias, previously the executive director of the Austin Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, will be Flannigan's constituent relations director. Carol will work as support staff for constituent relations and communications, while Smith takes over as senior policy adviser. (Smith most recently worked for ousted D10 CM Sheri Gallo.)
Messer is not the first Chronicle alum to jump to politics. Former News Managing Editor Amy Smith currently works as chief of staff for Leslie Pool in D7; Pool's policy adviser is none other than Louisa Brinsmade, a Politics editor from the Nineties. Daryl Slusher, Brinsmade's predecessor at the paper, was elected to City Council in 1996 and served several terms. Former News writers Rachel Proctor May and Katherine Gregor also served on city staffs. Mike Clark-Madison served on the Library Commission while on staff at the paper.
Alison Alter, newly sworn in to District 10, has reportedly not hired any staff quite yet. Even the guy who answered her phone at City Hall said he was temporary.