BY THE NUMBERS: Contract details for Spencer Cronk, Austin’s new city manager

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UPDATE 5:13 p.m.: Austin City Council unanimously votes to appoint Spencer Cronk, the current city coordinator in Minneapolis, as city manager. Cronk is expected to begin on Feb. 12.

“I’m humbled to be given the opportunity to lead such an outstanding organization and to serve a community with a strong culture that promotes inclusion, innovation and progressive ideas,” Cronk said in a statement.

Original story: Austin is expected to offer city manager finalist Spencer Cronk an annual salary of $325,000, tied with a handful of other perks, during Thursday’s Austin City Council meeting.

According to a City Council message board post from Austin Mayor Steve Adler, the expected salary offer comes after discussions with city staff and attorneys. The offer falls short of previous estimates that ranged between $350,000 and $400,000. The offer, according to a draft resolution on the city’s website, will include:

  • Salary: $325,000 annually
  • Executive allowance: $7,200 annually
  • Housing allowance: $4,500 per month for six months to offset costs of a temporary residence
  • Cell phone allowance: $1,630.32 annually, plus a cell phone equipment allowance of $225
  • Deferred compensation: Cronk will be allowed to defer up to $18,500 annually of his salary, untaxed, and bank it for retirement or investment.
  • Retirement: The city will contribute 18 percent of his base pay, or $58,500, to a retirement on an annual basis. According to city spokesperson Bryce Bencivengo, Cronk will also be required to contribute an added 8 percent of his base pay to the retirement fund annually, or $26,000.
  • Insurance: Cronk’s insurance plan will offer him coverage for health care, dental, life insurance, short-term disability, long-term disability, dependent care and a workers assistance program.
  • Vacation: Cronk will accrue 1.92 days of vacation per month, or 23 days per year, with a maximum total accumulation of 400 hours, or 50 days. Vacation days will be able to roll over until the max accrual is reached. Cronk can cash out on up to 240 hours should he leave the city in good standing.
  • Sick leave: Cronk will accrue one day per month with unlimited accrual. However, Cronk cannot cash out on unused sick days.
  • Severance package: Should Cronk be forced out of the job, he would be eligible for a severance package equal to one year salary plus an amount equal to six times the monthly premium for continued health care coverage.

Cronk received a unanimous vote of confidence as Austin City Council’s choice for city manager Dec. 19. Cronk will be the city’s first permanent city manager since former manager Marc Ott left in October 2016. The city’s chief financial officer Elaine Hart sat as interim city manager while the city searched for a replacement.

Cronk is expected to start Feb. 12, and he will face a busy agenda in 2018 as the city eyes a finish line for its land-development rewrite called CodeNEXT; restarts police contract negotiations; looks to fill several executive vacancies that include chief of police; figures out its bond election proposal; and faces affordability and housing crises.

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Christopher Neely
Christopher Neely is Community Impact's Austin City Hall reporter. A New Jersey native, Christopher moved to Austin in 2016 following two years of community reporting along the Jersey Shore. His bylines have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Baltimore Sun and USA Today. He is a graduate of the University of Maryland's Philip Merrill College of Journalism.
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