Austin City Council to vote Wednesday on replacing city manager

From left: Then-Austin Council Member Greg Casar, City Manager Spencer Cronk, and then-Mayor Steve Adler listen to testimony during a city council meeting in 2019. (Eddie Gaspar/The Daily Texan, Eddie Gaspar/The Daily Texan)

Sign up for The Brief, The Texas Tribune’s daily newsletter that keeps readers up to speed on the most essential Texas news.

Recommended Videos

The Austin City Council will discuss moving on from City Manager Spencer Cronk, and possibly appointing an interim replacement, at its Wednesday meeting, according to a late addition to the council agenda.

The agenda item, added by Mayor Kirk Watson and three City Council members, will allow the city’s governing body to authorize severance pay for Cronk and take action on creating a transition plan.

Cronk said in a statement late Saturday night he was not made aware of the agenda item for the meeting.

“I am Austin’s city manager and no actions have been taken by the mayor and city council to change my responsibilities or role,” Cronk said. “I continue to be focused on serving this community and leading our dedicated workforce.”

Cronk fell into disfavor after a recent ice storm left tens of thousands of customers without electricity for days, with a lack of initial information about restoring power adding to citizen frustrations.

According to the agenda item, council members will be able to discuss Cronk’s employment and compensation, and the potential appointment of an interim replacement, in private before voting to act in open session.

Joining Watson in sponsoring the action item were council members Paige Ellis, Alison Alter and Chito Vela. Cronk has been the capital city’s top administrator since 2018.

Disclosure: Steve Adler, a former Texas Tribune board chair, has been a financial supporter of the Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribune’s journalism. Find a complete list of them here.

Recommended Videos