A new city manager is nigh

Council may decide today.

A new city manager is nigh
Thrift Land on Stassney Rd.

Sources say City Council is trying to come to a decision this evening about hiring the next city manager, even if just informally. The official decision will come at next week's Council meeting.

It sounds like TC Broadnax, the recently departed city manager of Dallas, has the edge over Sara Hensley, the current city manager of Denton and former assistant city manager in Austin. Among the factors favoring Broadnax are his experience running a big city and his lack of experience in Austin –– some Council members don't want to hire somebody with strong ties to the CoA bureaucracy.

For what it's worth, all of the unions that represent city employees –– the fire association, the police association, the EMS association and AFSCME –– are supporting Hensley. Here's a statement that Selena Xie, president of the EMS association, provided:

“Labor supports Sara because we believe she will improve the City of Austin. Her cover letter proudly describes working with employees to get results for her community. TC’s cover letter discusses his policy wins. During our interview, we let him know that we’ve heard issues about not being accessible and communicative with labor unions. He then proceeded to tell us about how a labor union president colluded with a city council member to get him fired and then shared how the labor union president got ousted by a vote of 80% to 20%. We deserve a City Manager who will decrease the divisiveness in our City and who is focused on improving Austin and our working conditions and not side politics or policy for which he should leave to Council.”

Last night the two candidates presented themselves to the public, responding to a few broad questions from veteran local TV journalist Judy Maggio about how they would operate as chief executive of America's 10th largest city.

Neither of them said anything particularly notable or surprising. But here are some highlights: