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Two finalists remain in search for the next Austin city manager

The entrance to Austin City Hall, with skyscapers behind it
Michael Minasi
KUT News
Austin Mayor Kirk Watson says the city hopes to name a new city manager by April 2.

One of the three candidates the City of Austin was considering for city manager has withdrawn from consideration. Austin Mayor Kirk Watson confirmed the news Sunday evening.

Brian Platt, who is currently the city manager in Kansas City, is no longer seeking the Austin position.

Platt was one of the finalists for that job, named Tuesday to move forward in the search for the next Austin city manager.

Austin has been without a permanent city manager since February 2023. The council fired Spencer Cronk in the wake of the city's response to the ice storm that left tens of thousands of people without power. Jesús Garza has been serving in the role in the interim.

The city began the search for a new city manager late last year. The application was opened in January and closed last week.

Watson said last week that 39 applications were submitted. The council spent several hours reviewing applications Tuesday and narrowed down the pool to three candidates. The two that remain are T.C. Broadnax of Dallas and Sara Hensley of Denton.

Each will be asked to come to Austin on March 25 to participate in meetings with city staff and a community town hall, which Watson said is still being finalized.

The mayor and council members will interview the candidates the following day at City Hall.

The hiring process for the last city manager was less than transparent. In an attempt to keep candidates' identities secret, council members and candidates changed a meeting room at the last minute to evade reporters and conducted interviews behind a security checkpoint at the airport.

Watson says he hopes to name the next city manager by April 2, which will require city council approval.

The search for a new city manager has kicked up some drama. In February, a possible candidate was caught on a leaked recording calling Austin a "- - - -show."

This story has been updated.

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Luz Moreno-Lozano is the Austin City Hall reporter at KUT. Got a tip? Email her at Follow her on X @LuzMorenoLozano.
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