AUSTIN (KXAN) — A memo announced Tuesday that Austin Code Director will be retiring next month and taking a new position as assistant county manager in Alachua County, Florida.
“Under his tenure, the department has repositioned itself to be a more proactive department with an increased focus on community outreach and engagement,” wrote Austin City Manager Marc Ott in the city memo. “He was key to developing new initiatives to improve maintenance of rental properties, and has been at the lead of a new Neighborhood Enhancement Team focused on neighborhood improvement efforts. Throughout his tenure, he has maintained a positive, upbeat and innovative approach to the job that will leave the department well-positioned for continued success consistent with the goals we’ve set for the coming year.”
The letter states that Smart started with the city in 2011. In his new job, Smart will oversee public safety and community services, according to the announcement.
Smart led the department as the city grappled with rules and investigations of short term rental properties, among other issues. An audit of the Austin Code Department earlier this year found delays in investigating violations may be putting public safety at risk. City Council members expressed serious concerns after learning there were issues in 77 percent of the cases tested.
“There were several things that came as a surprise in this audit. And I think one of the things is that we’re not responding to complaints as quickly as we ought to,” said Carl Smart, in April.
Austin’s most recent performance report showed Austin Code dropped its average time from when an inspector is assigned a complaint to the first response from 4.52 days in 2014 to 3.11 in 2015. The department’s long-term goal is to drop that response time below two days.
“I am proud of Carl. Please join me in congratulating him on this great opportunity, and in thanking him for his selfless service to the residents of Austin,” wrote Ott in the memo.