marc ott

KUT News

From our city hall reporting partner, the Austin Monitor:

The Austin Monitor has learned that Austin City Manager Marc Ott has placed Assistant City Manager Anthony Snipes on paid administrative leave. The move comes after news broke that Snipes had organized a controversial training designed to help staff cope with a female-majority City Council.

Daniel Reese for KUT News

This story comes to us from our city hall reporting partner, the Austin Monitor.

It seems that some City Council members were planning on giving City Manager Marc Ott – and perhaps others – a piece of their minds in private Thursday, but due to the absence of Mayor Pro Tem Sheryl Cole, Mayor Lee Leffingwell was able to at least postpone that confrontation.

The executive session agenda for Thursday included four unusual items, each to do a mid-year evaluation of one of the Council’s appointees: Ott, City Auditor Kenneth Mory, Municipal Court Clerk Rebecca Stark and City Clerk Jannette Goodall.

Daniel Reese for KUT News

This is an excerpt from an article written by our Austin City Hall reporting partner, the Austin Monitor (formerly In Fact Daily). For more on this topic, see our collaborative report with the Monitor.

Tensions continued to mount Tuesday between City Manager Marc Ott and a number of Austin City Council members. At immediate issue is where to relocate the office of City Auditor Ken Mory as City Hall is reconfigured to make room for additional Council members under single member districts.

During Tuesday’s work session, there was a particularly testy exchange between Ott and Council Member Bill Spelman as Spelman told Ott he should have at least consulted Council members before making a final decision about Mory’s relocation.

Daniel Reese for KUT News

This article was co-produced with KUT News’ Joy Diaz as part of an ongoing City of Austin reporting partnership between In Fact Daily and KUT. Listen to KUT's broadcast story in the audio player below.

Among the changes that will accompany the start of districted representation for Austin City Council members, at least one unintended consequence is causing some level of civic heartburn for interests represented by figures ranging from current sitting Council members to the outspoken face of the 10-1 movement: A potential shift in the way things get done at City Hall.

That change, should it play out, will find the office of City Manager – the unelected executive arm of city government –  becoming a much more powerful position. “The City Manager, at least temporarily – until people find their footing – is going to have a substantial amount of power,” said longtime Austin political organizer David Butts.

Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

What’s in store for City Manager Marc Ott at his job evaluation this week? And will he even have one?

Under Austin’s form of government, the city council sets policy, and the city manager implements it. Ott was appointed by the council in 2008, replacing longtime city employee Toby Futrell – and in that time, he has received mixed reviews.

The Austin American-Statesman has a long profile of Ott’s tenure at the city. He’s received high marks for implementing a more transparent public budgeting process, and his role in steering Austin’s economic policies while comparable cities have fared worse during the Great Recession.

Photo courtesy

The removal of Occupy Austin’s semi-permanent encampment from City Hall on Friday night caught many off guard – most of all, the Occupiers themselves.

The Occupy Austin Twitter account stated they received the city's “Notice of Change to City Hall Building Use Policy," at approximately  10 p.m.  – the new cut-off time for assembly at the City Hall plaza.

“We have made these revisions in an effort to balance the interests of City residents in having access to the City Hall property for legitimate purposes with our need to manage the increasing problems at City Hall related to criminal activity, damage to City property, and health concerns,” City Manager Marc Ott wrote in a memo outlining the changes.

Image courtesy City of Austin

No a huge surprise here; Abigail Smith was already named the lone finalist for the job. But now it's official. City Manager Marc Ott just announced he has selected the director of a no kill animal shelter in Ithaca, New York to run the Town Lake Animal Center in Austin.