Ask the editor: What does a city manager do?

On Jan. 31, Austin City Council voted unanimously to appoint Spencer Cronk, the current city coordinator in Minneapolis, as city manager. Cronk assumed his position Feb. 12.

The city of Austin operates under a council-manager form of government whereby City Council sets policy objectives, and the city manager ensures they are carried out and administered effectively, according to the city’s website.

In Austin the city manager is one of four employees directly appointed by the City Council and oversees the city’s $3.9 billion budget and more than 14,000 employees. Cronk’s salary amounts to $325,000 per year.

Cronk will face a busy agenda during his first few months on the job 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.
By Olivia Lueckemeyer
Olivia Lueckemeyer graduated in 2013 from Loyola University New Orleans with a degree in journalism. She joined Community Impact Newspaper in October 2016 as reporter for the Southwest Austin edition before her promotion to editor in March 2017. In July 2018 she returned home to the Dallas area and became editor of the Richardson edition.


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