We believe that Austin needs new senior management personnel – fresh, innovative, and effective city management to fulfill the full promise of our new 10-1 governing system. Manage Austin Better advocates for an immediate, rigorous, performance-based, 360-degree evaluation of Austin’s current management and then for replacing them.

The Latest

Austin’s Poor Management of EMS May Kill You

The current city manager has decimated Travis County/Austin’s Emergency Medical Services program, which used to be one of the nation’s best.  A UT survey reports that poor management at Austin EMS has resulted in dangerously low morale. Austin EMS used to implement best practices and have two fully-trained paramedics per vehicle. Now, to save money, Austin EMS has only one paramedic and an emergency medical technician (who are much less qualified). The nation’s best paramedics used to apply to work here, because of our program’s great reputation, our excellent pay and benefits, and the many amenities of our city. No longer. Austin EMS’s problem isn’t funding, it is poor management. read more…

Top 12 Reasons to Change Austin City Management

Austin’s current City management has:

  1. Poorly planned for growth and development
  2. Failed to address housing affordability
  3. Ignored gentrification and residents’ displacement
  4. Neglected economic development in East Austin
  5. Failed to address economic and gender inequality
  6. Failed to proactively address traffic congestion and safety
  7. Failed to follow council policy directives and poorly enforced city laws, such as apartment safety and short-term rental
  8. Lacked innovation and vision in developing energy and utility policies
  9. Poorly managed the public’s money with misplaced budget priorities and excessive public giveaways
  10. Refused to implement fees to make growth pay for itself
  11. Failed to properly inform the City Council on important public matters, such as the Pilot Knob development, the Decker Golf Course project, and Bull Creek state property
  12. Lacked transparency and accountability

Why New Management Now?

 

Austin’s official website carries a heading marked with a small trophy icon that proclaims, “Best Managed City.” Unfortunately, this is not true. The most recent objective proof is a comprehensive study of Austin’s planning and development process last year by national urban expert Paul Zucker that concludes that it is one of the worst managed in the nation.

Austinites have had enough of slogans without action to address our worsening problems: lack of affordable housing, gridlocked traffic, poor planning, economic inequities, and displacement of non-affluent residents. City management has demonstrated repeatedly that they do not understand good management practices. They have shown that they do not understand that they serve Austinites and the Council, and not the other way around. They have made clear that they cannot be trusted to initiate innovative ideas, implement Council decisions, wisely spend tax dollars, enforce city laws, or be transparent and accountable. After eight years running the City, they have lost Austinite’s trust. Now, after the new council 10-1 has been in office a year, is the time to replace Austin’s embedded city management and fulfill the full promise of our new 10-1 governing system. Regardless of the new Mayor’s and City Council’s policy decisions, without a fundamental change in our city management, Austin will never become the great city we all know it can and should be.  And Now For the Specifics »

What You Can Do!

 

Make Your Voice Heard!

YOU are crucial to replacing current city management, because inertia and the forces for maintaining the status quo are powerful at City Hall. You can change this by making your voice heard by our elected Mayor and Council.

Who We Are

 

Last year, a diverse group of citizens began informally meeting and discussing the City’s current management. We discovered that although we represented a wide range of interests, which often disagreed on City policy, that we all were dissatisfied with current City management. Participants included affordable housing advocates, developers, neighborhood association officers, multi-modal transportation activists, proponents of economic equity and development in East Austin, 10-1 supporters, environmentalists, ethics and transparency reformers, fiscal conservatives, supporters of growth paying for itself, opponents of gentrification, and small business people.  We believe our negative assessment of Austin’s city management was confirmed by the 2015 Zucker Report. This comprehensive evaluation by a leading national consultant found that Austin’s planning and permitting processes were the worst managed in the country.  READ MORE »