The Austin Chronicle

Recently Deceased Labor Relations Officer Replaced

City's first LRO Larry Watts returns to fill position

By Chase Hoffberger, June 9, 2017, News

Negotiations continue for the city's public safety labor groups in the wake of Labor Relations Officer Tom Stribling's unexpected death last week. On Tues­day, interim City Manager Elaine Hart announced that Larry Watts – the city's first LRO – will assume the responsibility of running negotiations for the city. (Assistant Director Sylvia Flores will run everything else within that office, and presided over Tuesday's meeting with the Austin-Travis County EMS Employee Association.) Watts served as LRO from 2009-11, and was credited by Hart as being "largely responsible for building the office into what it is today." He also spent time as both chief of staff and director of Labor Relations at Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas, the state's largest police union, where he helped negotiate more than 100 labor contracts. Watts' first meeting as the city's LRO takes place today, June 8, with the Austin Police Association – 9am-5pm in Building 1 of the city's Northeast campus, 1521 Rutherford.

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