Viewpoints: Austin should release names of city manager candidates


Highly paid executives hiding their faces from the public or ducking in and out of doors at the Hilton Austin Airport Hotel. Reporters and photographers conducting stakeouts to catch glimpses of applicants for the job of Austin city manager. Concealing candidate interviews by moving them to an undisclosed location at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport in a conference room blocked from the public by airport security.

We have arrived at this absurdity — grown-up professionals engaged in a child’s game of hide and seek for the city’s most powerful position — because the Austin City Council voted to conduct a secret search for a new city manager.

The council’s clandestine move from the Hilton to the airport on Thursday raises a legitimate question about whether it is violating the state’s open meetings law, which requires public notice of where and when meetings will be — even when the meetings are in closed session.

Incredibly, the council’s decision to conduct a secret search was unanimous, representing a low point for the city’s first council elected in a 10-1 system that was supposed to yield council members more in tune with public interests. No one should have to tell them that transparency ranks at or near the top of Austin values. CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE READING.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Opinion

Author of quiet love story ‘Call Me by Your Name’ to visit BookPeople
Author of quiet love story ‘Call Me by Your Name’ to visit BookPeople

“Call Me by Your Name” is a graceful debut novel by memoirist/literary scholar André Aciman (“False Papers,” 2000,), joining young love to his familiar themes of dislocation and wandering. One could be arrested in certain parts of the world for the young love in question, which joins a 17-year-old bookish musician who...
Commentary: De-escalation training or survival training?
Commentary: De-escalation training or survival training?

The editorial in the Jan. 27 edition of the American-Statesman addressed the recent changes in the Austin Police Department’s policy “that mandates officers to calm volatile situations before reaching for their guns, batons or Tasers.” While this seems like a laudable goal, it fails to recognize some critical elements of survival...
Facebook comments: Feb. 18, 2018
Facebook comments: Feb. 18, 2018

As reported by the American-Statesman’s Ben Wear, although Capital Metro did not intend for it to become public yet, a copy of the proposed Project Connect “high capacity transit system” map emerged on social media. The map has the word “draft” marked in light gray across the various rail and bus lines arrayed across the...
Herman: Downtown public bathroom on the move
Herman: Downtown public bathroom on the move

I think we all understand the concept of any port-a-potty in a storm. We’ve all encountered those internal storms. That’s the very real notion underlying the current test, a joint project of the city of Austin and the Downtown Austin Alliance, of a portable bathroom facility that’s been moved around downtown to see if and where it&rsquo...
Letters to the editor: Feb. 18, 2018
Letters to the editor: Feb. 18, 2018

The United States is dealing with a public health epidemic. This disease is killing children, police officers, and young men and women. In the past, our nation has addressed serious epidemics such as polio, AIDS and lung cancer. First, we gathered valid information. We then studied the origins of these diseases. Ultimately, smoking cessation in the...
More Stories