AUSTIN, TEXAS - In response to media inquiries, below is a statement from City of Austin City Manager Spencer Cronk regarding the Special Called Meeting of the Austin City Council on February 15.
"I was not made aware of items that Mayor Watson, Mayor Pro Tem Ellis, Council Member Alison Alter and Council Member José 'Chito' Vela added to the Special Called Meeting of the Austin City Council on February 15. This meeting was originally posted as a postponed discussion regarding a proposed new one-year meet and confer agreement with the Austin Police Association. However, since the posting of these Saturday night addendum items relate to my employment and severance benefits, I will simply reiterate that I remain Austin’s City Manager and no actions have been taken by this new Mayor and Council to change my responsibilities or role. I continue to be focused on serving this community and leading our dedicated workforce.
The safety of our residents, businesses, employees, and visitors has – for me – always been paramount. The final tentative four-year agreement that was reached yesterday is centered on my professional management experience of how best to keep our community safe - and that remains the sole driving factor for pursuing a four-year contract.
My obligation, one of many as the City Manager, is to ensure the safety of all of our residents. Moving forward on a four-year contract provides greater assurance that the safety of our residents remains intact. Chief Chacon and I have serious concerns that our police staffing levels will be compromised if a one-year contract is pursued. Additionally, I am concerned about the financial impact to the City’s general fund.
I look forward to the continued conversation with our Council, our community and the dedicated men and women of the Austin Police Department who serve our community every day."