The Austin City Council on Thursday will likely offer Minneapolis City Coordinator Spencer Cronk $325,000 a year along with other incentives to be Austin’s next city manager.
The amount is more than interim City Manager Elaine Hart’s base salary and less than former City Manager Marc Ott’s salary.
The offer at Thursday’s regular council meeting will take the form of a resolution, which was provided to the American-Statesman. On top of the base salary, Cronk also would earn a $600 monthly “executive allowance,” a $4,500 monthly stipend for temporary housing during the first six months of employment and $1,845 a year for a cell phone.
Other benefits offered include reimbursement for regular doctor checkups, 23 days of vacation a year and a severance package that would be triggered if Cronk either is fired or forced to resign for anything besides being accused of a crime of “moral turpitude” or a crime related to the office.
All told, the Austin job would nearly double Cronk’s Minneapolis salary of $173,355.
Cronk’s official hiring would mark the end of a 1½-year saga that began when Ott announced he was leaving the city for a job in Washington. The search for his replacement took a turn when the city opted to be unusually opaque in its search for a replacement, and hit a climax when the city and a private headhunter firm took extreme and strange measures to keep the identities of the candidates secret as the Statesman sued over the city’s refusal to release documents related to the search.
Since the City Council selected Cronk as its choice to run the city’s government, including more than 17,000 employees, Cronk has remained in Minneapolis, where he has been a central figure in planning for Sunday’s Super Bowl. Cronk has said he will work through the week of the football game before starting work in Austin on Feb. 12, as long as everything goes to plan.
Many council members have since admitted that the selection process was somewhat bungled. And Mayor Steve Adler said recently that he would like documents related to the search released now that the Texas Attorney General ruled against them remaining secret.