City Council members have narrowed their search for Austin's next city manager down to three candidates and are planning to vote on a final hire in early April.

What's happening

Austin officials have spent months planning for the arrival of interim City Manager Jesús Garza's permanent replacement. Garza took the helm at City Hall last February after council fired his predecessor, Spencer Cronk.

A national search conducted by Mosaic Public Partners led 39 total candidates to apply for the top city government job through the start of 2024.

After a closed-door March 5 discussion, Mayor Kirk Watson announced that City Council had selected three finalists for Mosaic to bring to Austin for further consideration:
  • T.C. Broadnax, the outgoing city manager in Dallas who'd been in that role since 2017. Broadnax previously served as Tacoma, Washington's city manager.
  • Sara Hensley, city manager of Denton since early 2022. Hensley previously served in other Denton city management roles and is a former Austin Parks and Recreation Department director and temporary assistant city manager.
  • Brian Platt, city manager of Kansas City, Missouri, since late 2020. Platt previously served as Jersey City, New Jersey's city manager and is a former McKinsey & Co. consultant.
What's next

With the candidate pool cut down, City Council plans to bring those finalists to town March 25 for both meetings with city staff and a public town hall. Council members will then spend time interviewing all three privately over the following week.

Council could vote to begin the hiring process for their selected city manager April 2, Watson said—although that timeline could shift if more time is needed.

What else?

Since the start, officials have said they intended Austin's ongoing city manager search to be more transparent than the last full-scale selection process in 2017; on the heels of Cronk's dismissal last year, Garza was chosen as his interim replacement without a public input period.

The current council-led search involved many local stakeholders and also opened the door for thousands of city staff, volunteer city board and commission members, and Austinites at large to share their hopes for the new hire. A community engagement report summarizing their input was compiled by Mosaic and can be viewed here.