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.



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