Wednesday, March 1, 2023

City of Austin Interim City Manager Jesus Garza announces key leadership changes

Today, Jesus Garza, City of Austin Interim City Manager, announced the following leadership changes.

  • Rey Arellano, Assistant City Manager, has announced his retirement.
  • Jacqueline Yaft, Executive Director, Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, has announced her resignation.

“Rey and Jacqueline have each served this city for several years, and it is important to me that we thank them for their many contributions,” Garza said. “I wish them all the best.”
Additionally, Garza has recruited a group of seasoned professionals who will join him on the interim leadership team.

  • Joe Canales, former Deputy City Manager for the City of Austin, will serve as Special Assistant to the Interim City Manager.
  • Bruce Mills, former Assistant Chief of the Austin Police Department, will serve as Interim Assistant City Manager over Public Safety.
  • Jim Smith, former Executive Director of Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, will reprise this role in an interim capacity.
  • Laura Huffman, founder of Civicsol and former Assistant City Manager for the City of Austin, will serve as a consultant in change management.

Since taking on the role of Interim City Manager on Feb. 15, Garza has started an organizational review, which includes working with department leadership to identify areas of immediate need to help define priorities.
“There are many important issues, and I recognize and support the Council’s sense of urgency in meeting our community’s expectations for quality service,” Garza said. “I am confident that this group of seasoned professionals—who are here on an interim basis—can help deliver on those issues the way the public and Council expects, laying a solid foundation for the future.”