Austin releases list of six city manager candidates

Downtown Austin skyline on Oct. 5, 2017. (KXAN Photo/Julie Karam)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — After meeting in executive session for a couple of hours on Monday, the Austin City Council released its list of candidates for the city manager position, which has been vacant for more than a year.

Mayor Steve Adler says the list of six “semi-finalists” will be narrowed down over the next few weeks. The mayor says the city appears to be on track to be able to make a selection for city manager before the end of the year.

“Perhaps there’s nothing more important that the City Council does other than to make that CEO selection. So, it is a really important job, a really important responsibility, and it was important for us to take our time and be deliberative about the process. This is an important decision for the city to make,” said Adler.

Current prospective city manager candidates include:

  • Spencer Cronk: Currently works as Minneapolis City Coordinator
  • Cecil House: Currently works for the New York office of Gilbane Building Company as their lead for the public sector construction arm.
  • Scott Kubly: Currently works as director of the Seattle Department of Transportation
  • Howard Lazarus: Currently works as the City Administrator for Ann Arbor, Mich.
  • Denise Roth: Currently works as a senior adviser at WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff, a global engineering and professional services organization.
  • Maura Sullivan: Currently serves as the Chief Operating Officer for the city of Chattanooga, Tenn.

Out of the six candidates, Kubly and Lazarus are the only two with connections to Austin. Kubly attended grade school in Austin and has a master’s degree from the University of Texas. Lazarus previously worked for the city of Austin as a director for the Public Works department and also served as interim assistant city manager for Austin in 2010.

Last week, one of the candidates for the position dropped out, prompting the city to delay both naming those who are vying for the position and making a decision. At that time there were four candidates in the running, but the consulting firm hired to find candidates told city council it should have at least five before moving on.

Without a city manager, Austin hasn’t been able to hire people to fill nine vacant department head positions, including chief of police.

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