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[Meet the City Manager Candidates ]

[00:00:08]

WELL, WELCOME EVERYBODY, AND GOOD EVENING, ISN'T IT A GREAT NIGHT TO BE IN AUSTIN, TEXAS? IT REALLY IS, UH, THIS IS A WONDERFUL OPPORTUNITY TO, UM, MEET THE TWO FINALISTS WE HAVE FOR OUR NEXT CITY MANAGER.

A VERY IMPORTANT JOB IN THE CITY OF AUSTIN, AND I'M VERY PLEASED TO SEE SO MANY PEOPLE TURN OUT TO THIS, MEET THE CANDIDATE SORT OF FORUM THAT WE'RE HAVING, UH, FOR THESE TWO, UH, EXCELLENT PROSPECTS THAT WE HAVE.

UH, I ALSO WANT TO INTRODUCE BEFORE I GET STARTED, UH, THE MEMBERS OF THE CITY COUNCIL THAT ARE HERE WITH US TONIGHT, AND I'D ASK EACH ONE OF THEM TO STAND AS I INTRODUCE THEM, AND I HOPE I GET EVERYBODY.

I'M, I I I I'M PAYING ATTENTION IF, IF I DON'T CALL YOUR NAME, PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU STAND UP AFTER.

UM, I, I INTRODUCE COUNCIL MEMBER VANESSA FUENTES.

COUNCIL MEMBER RYAN ALTER.

COUNCIL MEMBER MCKENZIE KELLY.

COUNCIL MEMBER ZOE CADRY, COUNCIL MEMBER PAIGE ELLIS AND COUNCIL MEMBER AL ALTER.

HAVE ALL JOINED US HERE TONIGHT.

WHOOP.

AND I SEE COUNCIL MEMBER CHITO VELA.

WELL DONE.

THANK YOU.

ARE THERE ANY OTHER COUNCIL MEMBERS HERE THAT I DID I HAVEN'T SEEN, AND I DIDN'T WRITE THEIR NAME DOWN? WELL, WE APPRECIATE THE, THE FACT THAT THEY'RE ALL HERE TOO.

THIS IS A POSTED MEETING.

SO FOR THOSE OF Y'ALL THAT ARE WONDERING, UM, BECAUSE WE'RE ALL VERY INTERESTED IN, IN, IN THIS TOGETHER, UH, AS I INDICATED AT THE BEGINNING OF THIS, YOUR FEEDBACK REALLY MATTERS.

AND THAT'S ONE OF THE REASONS WE WANTED TO HAVE AN EVENT LIKE THIS.

SO A KEY PART OF IT IS YOU'LL NOTICE AT THE TOP OF THE HANDOUT THAT YOU RECEIVED RELATED TO BOTH CANDIDATES, THERE'S A QR CODE AND YOU CAN SCAN THAT QR CODE AND THAT WILL TAKE YOU TO A SHORT SURVEY.

SO AFTER YOU HEAR FROM EACH CANDIDATE, I HOPE YOU'LL TAKE A MOMENT AND COMPLETE THAT SURVEY.

THE SURVEY WILL CLOSE AT 11:59 PM TONIGHT.

UM, ONE OF THE REASONS WE'RE DOING THAT IS SO THAT OUR CONSULTING FIRM THAT IS HELPING US WITH THIS PROCESS, MOSAIC, UH, THAT'S THE RECRUITMENT FIRM, IT WILL HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO GATHER THE FEEDBACK AND SHARE IT WITH ME AND MY COLLEAGUES TOMORROW IN THE MORNING.

UH, MY COLLEAGUES ON THE CITY COUNCIL AND I WILL INTERVIEW EACH CANDIDATE AND WE'LL TAKE THE COMMUNITY'S FEEDBACK AND THE PRESENTATION HERE TONIGHT INTO CONSIDERATION.

SO ONCE AGAIN, I WANNA SAY THANK YOU TO EVERYBODY THAT'S COME OUT, AND I WANT TO THANK YOU IN ADVANCE FOR FILLING OUT THE SURVEY.

SO WITH THAT, LET'S GET IT ALL STARTED.

I GET THE PLEASURE OF, BY THE WAY, I SEE COUNCIL MEMBER LESLIE POOLE IN THE ROOM, MAYOR PRO, TIM LESLIE POOLE.

THANK YOU MAYOR PRO TIMM FOR BEING HERE.

SO LET ME INTRODUCE OUR MODERATOR FOR TONIGHT'S EVENT.

UH, WE'RE BLESSED TO HAVE WITH US JUDY MAGGIO.

UH, JUDY IS ALL, PROBABLY ALL OF YOU KNOW, BUT I CERTAINLY MANY OF YOU KNOW, IS AN EMMY AWARD-WINNING JOURNALIST WHO'S ESTABLISHED HER BRAND BASED ON TRUST, ACCURACY, AND PUBLIC SERVICE.

HER WORK IN AUSTIN SPANS 40 YEARS, AND SHE'S EARNED THE RESPECT AND THE ADMIRATION OF HER COLLEAGUES AND THIS COMMUNITY.

SHE SERVED AS EDITORIAL DIRECTOR AT AUSTIN, P-B-S-K-L-R-U-T-V FROM 2016 TO 2020, WHERE SHE DIRECTED, HOSTED AND PRODUCED DECIBEL, A DOCUMENTARY STYLE NEWS PROGRAM.

SHE ALSO HOSTED A TX TOGETHER A PUBLIC AFFAIRS PROGRAM ON TIMELY, LOCALLY ISSUES, AND OF COURSE, WAS A REPORTER AND ANCHOR FOR MANY YEARS HERE IN AUSTIN, SHE RUNS HER OWN MEDIA CONSULTING FIRM AND PARTICIPATES WIDELY IN DIFFERENT COMMUNITY EVENTS.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, JUDY MAGGIO.

THANK YOU MAYOR.

THE MAYOR.

AND I HAVE A RUNNING JOKE ABOUT MICROPHONES.

IT'S A LITTLE LOW.

MAYOR .

I DON'T THINK IT'S THAT FUNNY.

, GOOD EVENING EVERYONE.

I AM SO HONORED TO LEAD THIS COMMUNITY TOWN HALL, AND I, I APPRECIATE ALL OF YOU GIVING YOUR TIME TONIGHT.

UM, IF IT'S POSSIBLE TO LOVE A CITY THE WAY YOU LOVE A HUMAN BEING, THAT'S KIND OF HOW I FEEL ABOUT AUSTIN.

AND I'M GUESSING MANY OF YOU FEEL THE SAME WAY BECAUSE YOU CARE ENOUGH ABOUT THE CITY'S FUTURE TO GIVE US YOUR EVENING.

CHOOSING A NEW CITY MANAGER IS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT DECISIONS ANY CITY COUNCIL WILL MAKE.

SINCE WE ARE A COUNCIL MANAGER GOVERNMENT, THE CITY MANAGER, OF COURSE, PLAYS A VITAL ROLE IN OVERSEEING EVERYTHING FROM DAILY OPERATIONS TO LEADING DOZENS OF DEPARTMENTS IN

[00:05:01]

THE 10TH LARGEST CITY IN THE COUNTRY.

BOTH TC BROAD NECK AND SARAH HENSLEY HAVE ALREADY BEEN QUESTIONED EXTENSIVELY TODAY.

LOTS OF PANELS, LOTS OF TALKING.

TONIGHT, IT'S OUR TURN.

WE GET TO ASK QUESTIONS AND HEAR WHAT THEY HAVE TO SAY.

AND HERE'S HOW THE EVENING WILL UNFOLD FOR EVERYONE.

I'M GONNA SPEND ABOUT HALF AN HOUR WITH EACH OF THE CANDIDATES INDIVIDUALLY.

I'LL BE ASKING THEM A SET OF E EIGHT QUESTIONS, AND THEN THEY'LL HAVE TIME FOR CLOSING REMARKS.

THESE QUESTIONS WERE COMPILED BY THE CITY SEARCH FIRM AFTER THEY LOOKED AT HUNDREDS OF QUESTIONS.

I THINK THERE WERE LIKE 368 SENT IN BY THE PUBLIC THROUGH SPEAK UP AUSTIN.

SO THAT'S ANOTHER WAY YOUR VOICE IS BEING HEARD TONIGHT.

FOLLOWING THIS DISCUSSION THOUGH, THERE'S GONNA BE A MEET AND GREET, AND THIS IS YOUR CHANCE TO GET TO KNOW EACH ONE OF THESE STELLAR CANDIDATES AND ASK YOUR OWN QUESTIONS OF THEM.

THEY'RE GONNA HAVE SOME TIME FOR MEET AND GREET, AND ONCE AGAIN, AS THE MAYOR SAID, DON'T FORGET ABOUT THIS QR CODE.

THERE'S ALSO A LITTLE SECTION WHERE YOU CAN WRITE DOWN WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT THE STRENGTHS OF EACH CANDIDATE AND WHAT ARE YOUR CONCERNS IF THIS PERSON WAS GOING TO BE ELECTED THE CITY COUNCIL.

I HAVE BEEN ASSURED THAT YOUR COMMENTS WILL INDEED AND THE COUNCIL MEMBERS ARE HERE REVIEWED BY OUR AUSTIN CITY COUNCIL MEMBER AND MEMBERS AND THE MAYOR BEFORE THEY DO THEIR INTERVIEWS WITH THE CANDIDATES TOMORROW.

SO THANK YOU ONCE AGAIN FOR COMING HERE.

LET'S GET STARTED.

OUR FIRST CANDIDATE IS SARAH HENSLEY.

SHE IS THE CURRENT CITY MANAGER OF DENTON, TEXAS.

WELCOME.

THANK YOU.

WELL, WE'RE GONNA START OUT WITH AN INTRODUCTION.

WE WANT PEOPLE TO GET TO KNOW YOU.

TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF, YOUR CAREER, AND WHAT YOU WANNA BE THE NEXT CITY MANAGER OF AUSTIN, TEXAS.

SO I HAD THE PLEASURE OF WORKING HERE IN AUSTIN FOR, UH, ALMOST 11 YEARS.

THE LAST TWO YEARS WAS, UH, I WAS AN INTERIM ASSISTANT CITY MANAGER IN THE CITY MANAGER'S OFFICE, AND I WAS OVER HOMELESSNESS, UH, REAL ESTATE, LIBRARIES, PARKS AND RECREATION, UH, HEALTH DEPARTMENT.

AND I HAD MANY OTHER RESPONSIBILITIES THAT I WAS A LIAISON TO THE SENIOR COMMISSION AND OTHERS.

UM, I LEFT HERE TO GO TO BE AN ASSISTANT CITY MANAGER IN DENTON, TEXAS, AND MOVED MY WAY UP AS AN ASSISTANT CITY MANAGER TO A DEPUTY CITY MANAGER AND THEN TO THE CITY MANAGER ROLE.

DENTON IS KIND OF REFERRED TO IN A LOT OF SENSES AS A SMALL AUSTIN LIVE MUSIC, REALLY GOOD CULTURE, TWO MAJOR UNIVERSITIES, TEXAS WOMEN'S UNIVERSITY AND UNIVERSITY OF NORTH TEXAS.

AND, UM, TO BE REAL FRANK WITH YOU, I HAVE A HOME HERE.

I STILL PAY MY TAXES HERE AND I WANNA COME HOME.

I WANNA BE A PART OF THE, WHAT'S THE FUTURE OF AUSTIN? I WANNA BE A PART OF THE GROWING THE PAINS, UH, THAT WE'RE EXPERIENCING.

BUT I WANNA BE A PART OF THE SOLUTION TO HELP, UH, SOLVE SOME OF THESE PROBLEMS. CAN'T DO IT ALONE.

IT'S GONNA TAKE ALL OF US, INCLUDING ME WORKING WITH THE MAYOR AND COUNCIL, THE THE MANY NONPROFITS, THE MANY, UH, AFFINITY GROUPS, BUT IT'S A CALLING FOR ME.

UM, I HAVE A WONDERFUL JOB IN DENTON, BUT IT'S REALLY, I WANT TO COME HOME.

IT'S JUST DOWN TO THAT POINT.

UH, I WANNA BE, UH, SOME, I WANNA BE SOMEONE THAT CAN HELP MOVE US FORWARD.

I WANT TO TAKE, UH, THE GREAT THINGS WE HAVE HERE AND BUILD ON IT, AND THEN I WANT TO HELP SOLVE ANY PROBLEMS WE HAVE SO WE CAN MOVE FORWARD.

YOU KNOW, IT'S NOT THAT IMPORTANT FOR PEOPLE SOMETIMES AT THE STATE CAPITAL, BUT DEI IS VERY IMPORTANT TO MOST PEOPLE IN THE COMMUNITY OF AUSTIN.

SO HOW DO YOU ENVISION INTEGRATING PRINCIPLES OF EQUITY, DIVERSITY, INCLUSION, AND REALLY BELONGING INTO THE STRATEGIC PLANNING AND DAY-TO-DAY OPERATIONS OF OUR CITY GOVERNMENT TO ENSURE THAT BOTH OUR EMPLOYEES AND EVERYBODY WHO LIVES HERE FEELS GENERALLY RESPECTED AND, AND REPRESENTED? WELL, FIRST OF ALL, THAT'S KIND OF WHAT'S SPECIAL IS SPECIAL ABOUT AUSTIN.

UM, AUSTIN IS A CITY THAT'S SO DIVERSE AND THERE'S SO MANY DIFFERENT, UH, GROUPS.

AND I, I THINK FOR ME, IN ENSURING THAT DEI IS A PART OF EVERYTHING WE DO, BUT AS A LEADER, YOU HAVE TO LIVE IT AND BREATHE IT.

I CAN'T TALK ABOUT IT.

I HAVE TO LIVE IT.

I HAVE TO BE THE PERSON THAT MAKES SURE THAT WE'RE REFLECTING OUR COMMUNITY.

WHEN WE HIRE PEOPLE, I HAVE TO BE THE PERSON THAT IS OUT THERE AND VISITING WITH THE DIFFERENT GROUPS AND VISITING WITH THE POPULATION SO THAT, UM, THAT WE ARE ENSURING THAT I'M NOT JUST TALKING ABOUT IT, I'M ACTUALLY LIVING IT.

AND PART OF THAT IS, UM, THERE'S MANY GROUPS THERE.

I I MET WITH THE AFFINITY GROUP TODAY AND, AND LISTENED TO THEM, UM, THE DIFFERENT, UH, REPRESENTATIVES FROM THE AFFINITY GROUP WITH THE CITY.

AND, UM, YOU KNOW, I TOLD THEM IT'S PART, IT'S PART OF WHO I AM.

UM, I'M A VERY, I BELIEVE IN INCLUSION AND CERTAINLY EQUITY AND, UM, MAKING SURE THAT WE'RE DIVERSE IN OUR POPULATION.

ONE OF THE MOST IMP IMPORTANT THINGS FOR ME IS THAT WHEN WE HAVE PUBLIC MEETINGS, WE ARE REFLECTIVE OF THE COMMUNITY THAT WE ARE SERVING.

AND SO, UM, ONE IS MAKING SURE THAT THE WORD IS OUT, THAT THIS IS WHAT WE LIVE AND BREATHE.

AND IT'S JUST LIKE SOME OF THE OTHER THINGS IN THIS CITY THAT ARE SO IMPORTANT.

SUSTAINABILITY AND THE ENVIRONMENT AND, AND

[00:10:01]

ISSUES RELATED TO CLIMATE CHANGE.

EVERY SINGLE DEPARTMENT HAS TO AFFECT THAT, NOT JUST NOT JUST ONE PERSON.

EVERYBODY HAS TO BE A PART OF THE SOLUTION FOR THAT.

THE SAME THING FOR DEI.

EVERY ONE OF US HAS TO BE THE PEOPLE THAT MOVES THAT FORWARD.

AND FOR, AS THE CITY MANAGER, I HAVE TO BE THE ONE THAT LEADS THAT EFFORT.

AND SO, UM, TALKING ABOUT IT, MAKING SURE I'M ENGAGING GROUPS AND PEOPLE TO TALK ABOUT IT, MAKING SURE WE'RE GETTING IT OUT ON THE TABLE IF THERE'S ISSUES, UM, WORKING WITH COUNCIL TO, WHEN THEY TALK ABOUT THEIR STRATEGIC PRIORITIES, MAKING SURE THAT THAT'S THEIR, ONE OF THEIR, AND I'M SURE IT IS ONE OF THEIR MAJOR PRIORITIES, THAT WE ARE THEN MAKING SURE WE ARE LIVING THAT AND WE FOCUS OUR INITIATIVES ON THAT.

TWO OF THE BIG ISSUES THAT THE CITY WEIGHED IN ON, FOLKS WHO LIVE HERE ARE VERY CONCERNED WITH TWO THINGS, HOMELESSNESS AND PUBLIC SAFETY WERE THE TWO TOP ISSUES.

SO I WANNA ASK YOU ABOUT HOMELESSNESS.

AUSTIN DOES HAVE A HIGH HOMELESS POPULATION, UH, PEOPLE EXPERIENCING HOMELESSNESS THAT IS RISING.

WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH THIS ISSUE IN YOUR PRIOR EXPERIENCES, BOTH HERE IN AUSTIN AND IN DENTON? AND WHAT IMPACT HAVE YOU SEEN THOSE ACTIONS MAKE ON THOSE COMMUNITIES? SO WHILE I WAS HERE IN AUSTIN, I HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO SERVE AS THE, THE A CM, THE ASSISTANT CITY MANAGER OVER HOMELESSNESS.

AND THE FIRST THING I DID WAS TO PULL ALL THE DEPARTMENTS TOGETHER BECAUSE EVERY SINGLE DEPARTMENT AFFECTS HOMELESSNESS IN SOME WAY OR ANOTHER, WHETHER IT'S POLICE, FIRE, LIBRARIES, PARKS AND RECREATION, REAL ESTATE, YOU NAME IT.

WE ALL PLAY A ROLE IN HELPING TO SOLVE THE ISSUES WITH THE HOMELESSNESS SO THAT IT'S BRIEF, RARE AND NON OCCURRING.

THE SECOND THING I DID IS BRING IN THE FAITH COMMUNITY, BECAUSE THE FAITH COMMUNITY PLAYS A HUGE ROLE IN HOW WE DEAL WITH OUR HOMELESSNESS POPULATION.

AND SOMETIMES WE'RE SERVING PEOPLE OVER AND OVER THE SAME BREAKFAST OR OTHER THINGS LIKE THAT.

SO WE NEEDED TO LOOK AT CONSORTIUM ACROSS THE LINES, HOW WE CAN BETTER SERVE PEOPLE AND HOW WE CAN BETTER HELP THEM WITH THEIR NEEDS.

AND SO BROUGHT IN THE FAITH COMMUNITY, STARTED WORKING WITH THE DIFFERENT PASTORS, AND THEN I STARTED WORKING WITH NONPROFIT GROUPS AND, UH, INTEGRAL CARE, UH, CENTRAL HEALTH, UM, BROUGHT IT ALL OF US TOGETHER TO START LOOKING AT HOW CAN WE GET, AFFECT IT AND TO MAKE THE BIGGEST CHANGE.

THEN I LEFT, UNFORTUNATELY I DID LEAVE AND I WENT TO DENTON AND WE HAD A HOMELESSNESS PROBLEM THERE.

AND I WAS DRIVING AROUND ONE WEEKEND AND SAW A BUILDING.

IT WAS A NURSING HOME.

AND SO, UM, I WORKED WITH THE COUNCIL TO REDEVELOP THAT BUILDING FOR, UH, HOMELESSNESS SERVICES, WHICH HAS A SHELTER, BUT IT HAS TRANSITIONAL HOUSING, IT HAS, UM, UM, HEALTH, MENTAL HEALTH, AND THEN IT HAS A, UM, TRANSITIONAL WORK PROGRAM, A READY TO WORK PROGRAM.

SO WHILE WE'RE, WHILE WE HAVE THEM THERE AND WE'RE GETTING THE SERVICES THEY NEED, WE'RE ALSO WORKING WITH THEM CALLED A READY TO WORK PROGRAM.

SO THEY'RE GETTING BACK TO WORK AND THEY'RE TAKING SOME OF OUR JOBS IN THE CITY THAT WE DESPERATELY NEED AND WE'RE TRAINING THEM SO THEY CAN BECOME BACK ON THEIR FEET AND HAVE PAID JOBS.

AND SO, UM, IT'S BEEN FAIRLY SUCCESSFUL.

WE'VE, UM, UM, EVERYTHING'S WORKING.

IT'S A NONPROFIT THAT IS RUNNING THE SHELTER AND THE, UH, SERVICES AND, UM, RIGHT NOW IT'S THE ONLY SERVICES IN DENTON COUNTY ALONE, AND WE WORKED WITH THE COUNTY TO HELP FUND IT AND, UM, HAVE, I WORK VERY CLOSELY WITH JUDGE ANDY EIDS AND THE CO AND THE, UH, UM, UM, COMMISSIONERS SO WE CAN HOPEFULLY CONTINUE TO GET SOME FUNDING SO THAT IT'S SORT OF EVERYONE SHARING THE WEALTH WHEN IT COMES TO, UH, HELPING WITH, UH, SOLVING ISSUES RELATED TO HOMELESSNESS.

I DON'T KNOW THAT, I MEAN, I WILL SAY WE'RE HAVING SUCCESSES AND I THINK IT'S SHOWN BECAUSE PEOPLE ARE ACTUALLY, UH, GOING THERE AND GETTING THE SERVICES.

THEY'RE ACTUALLY, SOME OF THEM ARE GOING AND GETTING A JOB AND WORKING, BUT, UM, IT'S STILL GONNA BE A PROBLEM AND WE'RE STILL GONNA HAVE TO WORK ON THAT.

AND IT'S SOMETHING ONGOING.

AND SO WE'RE LOOKING AT HOUSING OPPORTUNITIES, TINY HOMES FOR PEOPLE THAT ARE TRANSITIONING OUT OF HOMELESSNESS.

AND WE'RE LOOKING AT, WE HAVE A STRATEGIC HOUSING TOOLKIT THAT LOOKS AT DIFFERENT VARIOUS TYPES OF HOUSING AS WE MAPPED OUT THE CITY.

AND SO IT'S NOT JUST GIVING THEM SHELTER, IT'S GIVING THEM THE SERVICES, IT'S FINDING THEM JOBS AND FINDING THEM PERMANENT HOUSING.

NOW LET'S MOVE ON TO PUBLIC SAFETY.

HOW WILL YOU WORK WITH THE COMMUNITY AND THE POLICE FORCE TO BALANCE THOSE CONCERNS? SO, FIRST OF ALL, YOU HAVE A, UM, SOMEONE RIGHT NOW SERVING IN AN ACTING ROLE OR INTERIM ROLE AS A POLICE CHIEF.

AND, UM, IT IS, IT IS ONE OF THE TOUGHEST JOBS IN A CITY GOVERNMENT AS TO BE A POLICE CHIEF.

UM, IT IS, YOU'RE ALWAYS UNDER THE WATCHFUL EYE AND ALWAYS BEING CRITICIZED FOR ONE THING OR ANOTHER.

'CAUSE YOU'RE RESPONSIBLE FOR SO MANY PEOPLE.

I THINK WHAT I WOULD DO IS, UM, IS AS I WOULD DO ANYWHERE, IF I CAME TO THE CITY TO SIT DOWN AND HAVE ONE-ON-ONES, ONE MAYOR, AND COUNCIL DEPARTMENT HEADS, OBVIOUSLY WITH THE POLICE DEPARTMENT, THE POLICE OFFICERS ASSOCIATION, BUT I THINK YOU HAVE TO BRING SOMEONE IN THROUGH COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT AND ALL THE OTHER THINGS TO FIND THE RIGHT POLICE CHIEFS SO THAT, UM, WE'RE BUILDING TRUST BACK WITH THE COMMUNITY.

UM, OBVIOUSLY ACCOUNTABILITY AND TRANSPARENCY ARE VERY FOREFRONT WITH THAT, AND THAT IS BEING A TRANSPARENT DEPARTMENT, BUT ALSO HOLDING PEOPLE ACCOUNTABLE.

AND IF YOU HAVE A GOOD CHIEF, A LOT OF THAT FALLS INTO PLACE.

BUT THEN YOU HAVE TO PUT YOUR RESOURCES WHERE THEY CAN GET THE TRAINING THEY NEED FOR DEESCALATION AND FOR MENTAL ILLNESS AND

[00:15:01]

ALL THOSE THINGS THAT ARE AFFECTING PEOPLE.

AND IT'S HARD TO DEAL WITH WHEN YOU HAVEN'T HAD THE TRAINING.

AND SO I'M A BIG PROPONENT OF MAKING SURE THAT YOU PROVIDE TRAINING FOR POLICE OFFICERS UNDER THE RIGHT CHIEF SO THAT YOU ARE ACTUALLY AFFECTING CHANGE IN A POSITIVE WAY.

WE'RE BACK OUT DOING COMMUNITY POLICING.

WE'RE MEETING WITH NEIGHBORHOODS.

WE'RE TALKING ABOUT WHAT'S GOING ON.

WE'RE TRANSPARENT, WE'RE SHARING INFORMATION, THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY.

ALL OF THESE THINGS HELP MAKE A CITY BETTER.

AND IT'S NOT GONNA HAPPEN OVERNIGHT.

IT'S JUST NOT, BUT IT'S GONNA TAKE TIME.

IT'S GONNA TAKE, UH, PATIENCE.

BUT IF WE WORK WITH YOU TO PICK THE RIGHT PERSON, IF WE WORK WITH COUNCIL, MAYOR AND COUNCIL TO MAKE SURE WE'RE DOING THAT, AND THEN WE'RE PUTTING THINGS IN PLACE TO HELP TRAIN OFFICERS SO THEY CAN BE, UH, RESPECTED AND THEY CAN BE TRUSTED, I THINK WE MOVE TOWARDS A GOOD CITY.

AND I, THAT'S HOW I WOULD WORK WITH THEM.

AND I'D WORK WITH THE POLICE OFFICERS ASSOCIATION.

I'M GONNA SAY THIS BECAUSE I REALLY TRULY BELIEVE IT, BUT THE ECONOMIC VIABILITY AND THE ECONOMIC VITALITY OF CITY IS DIRECTLY RELATED TO YOUR PUBLIC SAFETY.

THINK ABOUT IT.

IF YOU DON'T HAVE A GOOD PUBLIC SAFETY FOR POLICE AND FIRE AND EMERGENCY SERVICES, THEN PEOPLE DON'T THINK THE CITY'S SAFE.

AND WHEN THEY DON'T THINK IT'S SAFE, THEN OTHER THINGS BEGIN TO HAPPEN.

AND SO YOU'VE GOT TO HAVE GOOD PEOPLE IN THE RIGHT PLACE SO THAT THEY CAN AFFECT THE POSITIVE THINGS ABOUT THE COMMUNITY.

AND SO THAT THE CHANGE OCCURS WHERE IT'S NEEDED AND THAT PEOPLE BEGIN TO TRUST EACH OTHER AGAIN.

TRUST IS VERY IMPORTANT.

YES, IT'S ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS.

TRUST AND TRANSPARENCY.

AND THAT'S WHAT I WANNA TALK ABOUT NEXT.

HOW DO YOU PLAN TO MAINTAIN TRANSPARENCY WITH THE STAKEHOLDERS WITHIN THIS COMMUNITY DURING YOUR TIME AS CITY MANAGER? WELL, IF ANYBODY KNOWS ME, I'M ALWAYS, I MAKE MYSELF AVAILABLE TOO MUCH SOMETIMES.

BUT, UM, HI, APRIL.

HI.

UM, I, I LOVE, I HAVE A PASSION FOR COMMUNITY SERVICES.

IF YOU DON'T, IF YOU CAN'T SEE THAT, I JUST DO.

IT'S IMPORTANT THAT I'M TRANSPARENT AND I'M TRUSTWORTHY TO THE MAYOR AND COUNCIL.

IF THEY DON'T TRUST ME, THEN THEY'RE NOT GONNA WANT ME TO, I WON'T BE A GOOD LEADER.

SO THE FIRST THING I'M GONNA DO IS BUILD TRUST AND RELATIONSHIPS WITH THEM, MAKE SURE THEY TRUST ME.

I'M GONNA KEEP 'EM INFORMED.

UH, I DO ONE-ON-ONES WITH THE MAYOR AND COUNCIL ON A REGULAR BASIS.

UM, I'M CONSTANTLY IN COMMUNICATION BECAUSE I DON'T WANT THEM EVER TO BE SURPRISED, BUT I'M ALSO OUT IN THE COMMUNITY.

YOU'RE GONNA SEE ME AT EVENTS ALL THE TIME.

I'M GONNA BE OUT IN APARTMENTS BECAUSE I BELIEVE IN SUPPORTING OUR EMPLOYEES.

UH, PEOPLE CAN'T BE, YOU CAN'T BE TRUSTED, AND YOU CAN'T BE THOUGHT OF AS BEING TRANSPARENT IF THEY CAN'T SEE YOU AND THEY DON'T KNOW WHO YOU ARE.

SO FOR ME, BUILDING TRUST, AND THEN THE TRANSPARENCY PART COMES THROUGH THAT IS BEING SEEN, LISTENING, LEARNING, AND THEN, UM, MAKING SURE PEOPLE TRUST AND RESPECT YOU, UM, BUT ALSO BELIEVE THAT YOU'RE, YOU ARE TRANSPARENT.

AND, AND SO FOR ME, IT'S BEING VISIBLE.

I, UM, IT'S NOT UNCOMMON FOR ME TO WALK THE HALLS AND GO UP.

I GO VISIT STAFF ON A REGULAR BASIS.

I GO TO THE POLICE STATION, I GO TO THE FIRE DEPARTMENT SITES, BECAUSE I THINK THAT'S HOW YOU BUILD TRUST.

BUT I DO THE SAME THING WITH THE MAYOR AND COUNCIL.

IT WAS NOT UNCOMMON WHEN I WAS THERE IN AUSTIN TO BE ON THE COUNCIL FLOOR FOR HALF A DAY, HAVING MEETINGS AND TALKING TO THEM AND TALKING ABOUT WHAT'S GOING ON WITH THE DEPARTMENTS THAT I OVERSAW.

THAT'S TRANSPARENCY.

UH, WE DO A STRATEGIC DASHBOARD ON OUR WEBSITE SO THAT EVERYTHING WE DO IS OUT THERE FOR THE PUBLIC.

SO ON PROJECTS, CAPITAL PROJECTS, ROAD INFRASTRUCTURE, YOU NAME IT, UM, IT'S ALL ON THE, ON THE WEBSITE.

AND IT'S A PORTAL THAT PEOPLE CAN LOOK AT AND YOU CAN SEE HOW OUR PROGRESS IS, HOW MUCH MONEY WE'RE SPENDING IF WE'RE OVER OR UNDER.

AND THAT'S TRANSPARENCY.

AND SO I, I THINK THE PERSON THAT I AM IS VERY TRANSPARENT.

YOU WILL FIND THAT.

I'LL RETURN YOUR CALL, I'LL RETURN YOUR EMAIL.

A LADY JUST TEXTED ME IN.

DENTON WANTED TO KNOW HOW SHE GETS A PERMIT FOR A YARD SALE, .

AND I SENT HER A NET NOTE BACK SAYING, I DON'T THINK YOU NEED ONE.

BUT I'M COPYING OUR DEVELOPMENT SERVICES DIRECTOR, IN CASE I'M WRONG.

BUT I BELIEVE IN BEING A PUBLIC SERVANT AND BEING A PUBLIC SERVANT IS BEING TRANSPARENT AND BEING TRUSTWORTHY.

AND THAT'S WHAT I AM.

SO SHE HAS YOUR PHONE NUMBER, SHE .

WELL, THAT'S THE OTHER PROBLEM.

I'VE GIVEN MY PHONE NUMBER OUT TO A LOT OF PEOPLE.

, A LOT MORE PEOPLE CAN TEXT YOU IN AUSTIN, JACKSON THAN YOU.

I KNOW.

I MAY HAVE TO GET A, I MAY HAVE TO GET A NEW PHONE.

I'M SORRY.

, I WANNA TALK TO YOU NOW ABOUT YOUR, YOUR LEADERSHIP TEAM.

HOW DO YOU HOLD YOUR LEADERSHIP TEAM ACCOUNTABLE FOR RESULTS? IT'S THE FIRST PART OF THE QUESTION.

AND HOW DO YOU INCENTIVIZE THEM WITH ENOUGH, YOU KNOW, FLEXIBILITY SO THEY EXPERIMENT AND INNOVATE AND TAKE ACTION? WELL, SO FIRST OF ALL, I LEAD BY EXAMPLE.

I REALLY DO.

AND I BELIEVE IN MANAGEMENT BY WALKING AROUND.

UM, AND I, I MEAN, WHAT I SAID WHEN I SAID, NO, YOUR EMPLOYEES WON'T RESPECT YOU IF YOU DON'T, IF THEY DON'T KNOW WHO YOU ARE, HOW DO THEY TRUST YOU AND RESPECT YOU? IF YOU DON'T, THEY DON'T KNOW WHO YOU ARE, WHAT YOU STAND FOR.

AND SO, UM, THE PEOPLE THAT I WORK WITH THAT ARE THE CLOSEST TO ME, UH, WE'RE, WE'RE A TEAM.

[00:20:01]

UM, WHEN I MEET WITH ONE-ON-ONE MEETINGS WITH COUNCIL, THE, THE ASSISTANT CITY MANAGERS GO WITH ME BECAUSE THEY CAN SOMETIMES ANSWER THE QUESTIONS BETTER THAN I CAN.

AND I'LL BE HONEST AND TELL YOU, THE HIGHER YOU GO, THE LESS YOU KNOW IT'S TRUTH.

THE HIGHER YOU GO, THE LESS YOU KNOW.

BUT YOU SURROUND YOURSELF WITH GOOD PEOPLE AND YOU'LL NEVER HAVE A PROBLEM.

YOU GOTTA HIRE GOOD PEOPLE.

AND IF ANY OF YOU KNOW, FRANK DIXON, HE'S ONE OF MY ASSISTANT CITY MANAGERS, AND HE IS FABULOUS, BUT HE, HE KNOWS THINGS ABOUT PUBLIC SAFETY THAT I DON'T KNOW, AND I TRUST HIM EXPLICITLY.

SO YOU BUILD THE TEAM THROUGH TRUST.

HE'S BUILD THE THING TEAM THROUGH TRANSPARENCY.

YOU BUILD THE TEAM THROUGH RESPECT, BUT YOU ALSO, THEY KNOW WHERE I AM ON, I EXPECT CRITICAL THINKING AND EVERYTHING WE DO, WE OWE THE COUNCIL, THE MAYOR AND COUNCIL OUR DUE DILIGENCE TO GIVE THEM THE BEST INFORMATION TO MAKE THE MOST INFORMED DECISION.

THAT'S SOMETIMES NOT WHAT THEY WANT TO HEAR, BUT IT'S IMPORTANT THAT I MAKE SURE, AND I'M TRANSPARENT ENOUGH, THAT HERE'S, HERE'S WHAT, HERE ARE THE FACTS AND HERE'S WHAT THE INFORMATION YOU NEEDED.

AND THEN WHATEVER THEY MAKE IS THE DECISION.

DON'T, WE DON'T TAKE IT PERSONALLY.

IT'S JUST, THAT'S THE FACTS.

THE OTHER THING IS THEY KNOW THAT I BELIEVE IN COMPLETED STAFF WORK.

AND THAT IS, I'M NOT GONNA GIVE SOMETHING TO THE ARIAN COUNCIL OR ANYONE ELSE UNLESS WE HAVE LOOKED AT IT THOROUGHLY AND DONE OUR, DO OUR DUE DILIGENCE AND MADE SURE THAT WE'VE COVERED ALL OUR BASES, BECAUSE IT PUTS THEM IN A BAD POSITION TO MAKE A DECISION.

SO IF YOU WERE TO CALL ANY OF THOSE PEOPLE TODAY, THEY WOULD TELL YOU WHAT'S SARAH LIKE? HIGH ENERGY BELIEVES IN COMPLETED STAFF WORK, BELIEVES IN, UM, CRITICAL THINKING, MAKING SURE THAT IF THIS, THEN THIS.

WHO ARE WE MISSING AT THE TABLE WHEN WE'RE HAVING DISCUSSIONS? WHO ARE WE MISSING? WHO'S NOT HERE? AND THEN THEY'LL TELL YOU THAT I'M A JOKESTER, I AM.

AND THAT YOU HAVE TO HAVE HUMOR IN THE WORKPLACE BECAUSE THIS IS A TOUGH JOB, WHETHER YOU'RE HERE, ARLINGTON, DENTON, FORT WORTH, YOU NAME IT, DALLAS, IT'S A HARD JOB BECAUSE LOOK AT THE PEOPLE.

YOU, YOU REPORT TO THE PUBLIC AS MUCH AS YOU DO.

I KNOW WHO MY BOSSES ARE, MAYOR AND COUNCIL, BUT I ALSO AM RESPONSIBLE TO EVERY ONE OF YOU.

AND, UM, SO I PUT THAT AND INSTILL THAT IN THE PEOPLE I WORK WITH AND NOT JUST MY DIRECT PEOPLE THAT, UH, THAT I WORK WITH.

AND I SAY, YOU'RE GONNA HEAR ME SAY WE, BECAUSE I DON'T MAKE, I'M NOT THE BE ALL THE DO ALL.

I HAVE TO HAVE GOOD PEOPLE AROUND ME TO MAKE DECISIONS.

AND, UM, AND SO IT FILTERS DOWN TO OUR DIRECTORS AND TO OUR STAFF TO CREATE A CULTURE THAT PEOPLE WANNA WORK THERE.

AND THIS IS HOW I BUILD A TEAM.

AND IT'S NOT JUST THAT TEAM, IT'S THE, THE BIG TEAM, WHICH IS THE CITY.

YOU'VE TOUCHED ON THIS A LITTLE BIT, BUT LET'S DIVE DEEPER INTO ACCESSIBILITY.

HOW ACCESSIBLE WILL YOU BE TO THE COMMUNITY, THE CITY COUNCIL AND CITY STAFF? MANY OF WHOM I'M SURE IN THE ROOM TONIGHT? UM, WELL, I'LL PUT IT TO YOU THIS WAY.

THERE'S NOT A NIGHT THAT DOESN'T GO BY THAT I'M NOT PROBABLY ANSWERING AN EMAIL OR A PHONE CALL OR SOMETHING FROM, WHETHER IT BE A COUNCIL MEMBER OR A CITIZEN OR A OR STAFF MEMBER.

AND ON MANY OCCASIONS, I WILL GO AND HAVE LUNCH WITH A GROUP OF EMPLOYEES, BECAUSE AGAIN, I REALLY BELIEVE, HOW DO THEY RESPECT YOU IF THEY DON'T KNOW WHO YOU ARE? AND SO, UM, I BUILD RELATIONSHIPS, I BUILD TRUST THROUGH DOING THAT.

AND IT WEARS ME OUT.

I'M GONNA BE FRANK WITH YOU.

IF I'M AT A NIGHT MEETING ONE NIGHT AND I'M AT THE COUNCIL THE NEXT MEETING, OR WE GO, OUR COUNCIL MEMBER MEETING SOMETIMES RUNS TILL 10 OR 11 AT NIGHT.

UM, AND THE NEXT MORNING I'M UP AT SEVEN 30, HAVING BREAKFAST WITH, UM, THE, UH, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE DENTON COUNTY TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY.

I'M WORN OUT.

BUT I, IT'S IMPORTANT THAT I BE THERE AND IT'S IMPORTANT THAT I AM VISIBLE WITH THE EMPLOYEES THAT I AM, UM, SOMEONE THEY CAN TRUST AND SOMEONE THAT THEY CAN RELATE TO.

I'M NOT SOMEBODY THAT'S GONNA SIT IN AN OFFICE, AND ANY OF YOU WHO KNOW ME, KNOW THAT I DON'T STAY IN MY OFFICE VERY LONG.

APRIL'S SHAKING HER HEAD, NO, SHE DOESN'T.

UM, BECAUSE THERE'S TOO MUCH TO DO.

THERE'S TOO MANY PEOPLE TO MEET, THERE'S TOO MANY THINGS TO ADDRESS.

AND SO I'LL BE OUT AT NEIGHBORHOOD MEETINGS, I'LL BE OUT AT, UM, AT, UH, STAFF MEETINGS.

I'LL BE, UM, HOLDING MEETINGS.

SOMETIMES I DO EMPLOYEE FORUMS BECAUSE I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT TO HAVE EMPLOYEE FORUMS. EVERY OTHER MONTH I HAVE EMPLOYEE FORUMS SO THAT EMPLOYEES CAN GET ON A TEAMS MEETING.

THEY DON'T HAVE TO LEAVE THEIR OFFICE, BUT CAN HAVE A CONVERSATION WITH ME ABOUT WHAT'S GOING ON IN THE CITY, WHETHER IT'S WORK FROM HOME, WHETHER IT'S, YOU NAME IT, UH, CAN I WEAR SHORTS TO WORK? THAT WAS ONE.

UM, UM, YOU KNOW, CAN YOU WEAR SHORTS TO WORK WELL? UH, ONLY THE PARK RANGERS CAN , UH, OR OR THE, THE LIFEGUARDS AND STUFF.

BUT I WAS LIKE, WHAT'S YOUR JOB? I HAD TO FIRST ASK THAT QUESTION, FIND OUT WHAT'S YOUR JOB? BUT YOU KNOW, I I'M JUST RELATABLE.

UM, I THINK IT'S, IT'S IMPORTANT.

CITY MANAGERS ARE JUST PEOPLE.

THEY'RE JUST PEOPLE AND PEOPLE WHO WANNA LEAD PEOPLE.

AND THAT'S JUST WHO I AM.

I WANNA LEAD PEOPLE TO MAKE A BETTER AUSTIN, BUT I HAVE TO DO THAT WORKING WITH THE MAYOR AND COUNCIL.

I WANNA BE ABLE TO BE THEIR PARTNER SO THAT WE CAN CREATE A BETTER AUSTIN.

FINAL QUESTION.

AND IT'S ABOUT UNITY.

HOW WILL YOU UNITE CITY DEPARTMENTS UNDER A COHESIVE VISION FOR THE CITY'S FUTURE? WELL, I LIKE TO SAY

[00:25:01]

THIS ONE CITY, ONE VOICE.

UM, IT'S HARD TO GET EVERYBODY ROWING IN THE SAME DIRECTION, BUT BECAUSE THIS IS A CITY THAT HAS A LOT OF ROWING GOING ON HERE, I'M GONNA USE THAT ANALOGY.

UM, I LIKE TO SEE MYSELF AS A COXSWAIN, THE PERSON THAT'S TALKING IN THE MICROPHONE SOMETIMES TOO LOUD.

UM, UH, BUT, BUT SAYING, HERE'S WHERE WE'RE GOING.

HERE'S THE SPEED, HERE'S WHERE WE'RE HEADED.

AND I THINK, UM, FOR ME, IT'S JUST WANTING TO BE THAT LEADER THAT, UM, GETS IN FRONT OF THINGS.

AND CAN YOU REPEAT THAT AGAIN? 'CAUSE I DON'T WANNA BE OFF TOPIC? SURE.

IT'S, IT'S UNIFICATION.

HOW WILL YOU UNITE CITY DEPARTMENTS? YEAH.

AROUND A COHESIVE VISION FOR THE CITY'S FUTURE.

SO, LIKE I SAID, BEING A COXSWAIN AND LEADING, LEADING THE, THE TEAM ROWING IN THE SAME DIRECTION, BUT ALSO WORKING WITH MAYOR AND COUNCIL, NUMBER ONE, TO SET THOSE PRIORITIES, UM, IT'S IMPORTANT THAT I WORK WITH THEM TO HAVE THEIR VISION, THEIR MISSION, AND THEIR VALUES, BUT ALSO WHERE ARE THEIR STRATEGIC PRIORITIES.

AND THEN YOU WORK WITH THE STAFF, THE DIRECTORS AND THE STAFF TO SET THE INITIATIVES.

NOW THEY MAY SAY SAFE COMMUNITY AND UNDER THAT IS HOMELESSNESS AND UNDER THAT'S, UM, CREATING A, A BETTER QUALITY OF LIFE.

AND THEY MAY SAY, UM, UH, CULTURAL AND RECREATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES THAT MAY BE EXPANDING OUR NETWORK OF LIBRARIES OR MAKING IT MORE ACCESSIBLE FOR PEOPLE TO USE A LIBRARY OR THOSE KINDS OF THINGS.

THE STAFF THEN GOES IN AND CREATES INITIATIVES, BUT YOU'VE GOTTA WORK WITH YOUR MAN COUNCIL TO SET THAT VISION, THAT STRATEGIC VISION OF WHAT THEY WANT THE CITY TO BE.

AND THEN IT'S MY JOB TO WORK WITH THEM TO REACH THOSE GOALS AND TO MAKE SURE THAT WE'RE ARTICULATING THAT BACK.

AND THAT'S WHY I TALKED ABOUT IT A LITTLE WHILE EARLIER.

WE HAVE A CHIEF STRATEGY OFFICER THAT HELPS US.

WE DEVELOPED A STRATEGIC PLAN AROUND COUNCIL, MAYOR AND COUNCIL'S PRIORITIES.

AND THEN ON THOSE, WE LIST ON OUR DASHBOARD ALL THOSE PRIORITIES, AND WE SHOW THE PROGRESS OF THOSE PRIORITIES SO THAT IT SHOWS THAT WE'RE DOING WHAT WE WERE ASKED TO DO BY OUR MAYOR AND COUNCIL, AND THAT WE'RE ACHIEVE ACHIEVING THOSE GOALS.

AND THEN WE'RE GETTING READY TO MEET AGAIN IN JUNE TO GO BACK OVER THOSE AND THEM TO READDRESS NEW GOALS.

AND I THINK WHEN YOU HAVE THAT VISION, IT, YOU START TO TRICKLE THAT DOWN TO YOUR ORGANIZATION AND EVERYTHING YOU DO STARTS TO WRAP AROUND, WELL, WHAT ARE YOU DOING WELL THAT'S CREATING A SAFE COMMUNITY? WELL, WHAT ABOUT YOUR PARKS? THAT'S THE QUALITY OF LIFE, YOUR LIBRARIES AND YOUR PARKS.

SO WHEN YOU START TALKING ABOUT THE THINGS YOU DO, YOU START WEAVING IN THOSE STRATEGIC INITIATIVES, THOSE STRATEGIC, YOUR MISSION AND YOUR MISSION, VISION AND VALUES.

THE EMPLOYEES START RECITING THOSE THINGS.

AND THAT'S WHAT YOU WANT.

YOU WANT EVERY SINGLE EMPLOYEE TO SAY, I'M HELPING TO CREATE A BETTER CITY BY DOING THIS, WHICH IS HELPING SOLVE THIS.

OR I'M HELPING TO MAKE HOMELESSNESS RARE, BRIEF, AND NON-RECURRING BY DOING THIS.

HOWEVER, EVERY EMPLOYEE CAN RELATE TO IT.

AND IT'S NO DIFFERENT THAN THIS.

THE JANITOR AT NASA WHO SAID, MY JOB ISN'T TO BE A JANITOR, IT'S TO HELP PUT A MAN ON THE MOON.

AND SO I WANT OUR STAFF, THAT STAFF TO HAVE THAT SAME, UM, WAY OF ARTICULATING WHAT WE'RE DOING IN THE CITY, WHICH IS THE WHAT'S COUNCIL AND MAYOR SET PRIORITIES, AND HERE'S HOW WE'RE GOING TO ARTICULATE THAT, AND THEN WE'RE GONNA CELEBRATE ALL THE WINS.

IT'S, YOU KNOW, I DON'T THINK ANY OF US DO ENOUGH CELEBRATING THE WORK THAT WE DO IN CITIES.

IT IS A TOUGH JOB, WHETHER YOU ARE SWEEPING THE ROADS OR YOU'RE EMPTYING THE TRASH OR WHATEVER YOU'RE DOING.

IT'S A TOUGH JOB AND 50 COMPLAINTS TO ONE COMPLIMENT EVERY TIME.

AND SO WHEN YOU GET A SUCCESS, IT'S IMPORTANT THAT WE SHARE THAT.

AND IT'S IMPORTANT THAT WE SHARE IT WITH EVERY ONE OF YOU.

SO YOU CAN SEE WE'RE ACTUALLY DOING YOUR WORK.

IT'S TIME FOR YOUR CLOSING STATEMENT.

EACH OF YOU WILL HAVE AS MUCH TIME AS YOU WANT FOR CLOSING, WELL, NOT HALF AN HOUR OR ANYTHING, BUT , YOU GOT ABOUT 10 MINUTES LEFT.

I'LL, I'LL JUST GIVE OUT MY CELL PHONE NUMBER AND I'LL TALK TO PEOPLE LATER, , BUT REITERATE SOME OF THE REASONS YOU'RE HERE, WHY THIS JOB IS IMPORTANT TO YOU AND, AND YOUR VISION AS, AS A CITY MANAGER FOR AUSTIN, TEXAS.

SO I LEFT THINGS UNDONE.

I LEFT AUSTIN.

I WENT ON TO BE AN ASSISTANT CITY MANAGER.

SOMETIMES YOU HAVE TO MOVE OUT TO MOVE UP, AND YOU'VE HEARD THAT BEFORE.

AND I FEEL LIKE IT'S TIME FOR ME TO COME HOME.

UM, THERE'S LOT, THERE'S MUCH TO DO HERE.

AND, UM, I'M A LEADER THAT'S COMMUNICATIVE, IT'S TRANSPARENT, IT'S HONEST, TRUSTWORTHY, ETHICAL.

UM, I'M ALSO A MANAGER THAT, UM, HAS BEEN IN A LOT OF DIFFERENT, I'VE DONE A LOT OF DIFFERENT THINGS.

SO I, WHEN I FIRST STARTED MY CAREER, I MOWED MEDIANS AND EMPTY TRASH CANS.

I MEAN, I'VE, I'VE BEEN IN THAT ROLE.

I CAN APPRECIATE THE WORK THAT OUR STAFF DO AT EVERY LEVEL.

UM, BUT IT'S IMPORTANT THAT, YOU KNOW, I RAISED MY BOYS HERE.

WE RAISED OUR CHILDREN HERE.

THEY WENT TO ELEMENTARY, MIDDLE SCHOOL, AND HIGH SCHOOL HERE.

I'M, I AM A PART OF AUSTIN.

IT'S A PART OF ME.

UM, AND I WANNA COME HOME.

I WANT TO, TO COME HOME AND I WANNA WORK IN THIS CITY THAT I STILL OWN A HOME IN AND PAY MY TAXES.

AND I WANNA BE A PART OF THE FUTURE OF THIS CITY BECAUSE IT HAS SO MANY GOOD THINGS TO OFFER, SO MANY GOOD THINGS AND SO MANY GOOD PEOPLE HERE.

AND TO DO THAT THOUGH, YOU NEED A LEADER THAT CARES.

YOU NEED A LEADER THAT CARES ABOUT THIS CITY AND IS ACCESSIBLE AND IS SOMEBODY YOU CAN

[00:30:01]

TALK TO OVER COFFEE OR YELL AT IF YOU HAVE TO, BUT SOMEONE WHO'LL LISTEN AND UNDERSTAND.

AND FOR ME, THAT'S WHAT IT'S ALL ABOUT.

I, I REALLY, TRULY, AND IF IT, I WANT YOU TO KNOW THIS.

I WANT WHAT'S BEST FOR AUSTIN.

I REALLY DO.

I WANT FOR WHAT'S BEST FOR AUSTIN, TEXAS.

AND IF IT'S NOT ME, THAT'S OKAY, BECAUSE I WANT WHAT'S BEST FOR AUSTIN.

AND THAT'S IMPORTANT TO ME.

BUT I WANT YOU TO KNOW THAT, UM, THIS WOULD BE THE HIGHLIGHT OF MY LIFE TO BE COMING BACK HERE AND BEING A CITY MANAGER AND BEING A PART OF WHAT WE NEED TO DO, WORKING WITH THE MAYOR AND COUNCIL.

AND, UM, I'M A TEAM PLAYER AND I WANNA WORK WITH THE COMMUNITY AND ALL THE OTHER GROUPS THAT GO ALONG WITH IT, AND I WILL MAKE MYSELF ACCESSIBLE, ALTHOUGH IT'LL PROBABLY KILL ME.

UM, UM, I GOT A LOT OF ENERGY, SO, UM, I'LL DO MY BEST, BUT THAT'S WHO I AM AND THAT'S WHAT I'D LIKE TO DO FOR YOU AND WORK WITH YOU.

AND SO, UM, THAT'S ABOUT ALL I'VE GOTTA SAY OTHER THAN THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.

AND I'M THANKFUL.

I, I WAS LIKE, THIS IS SO EXCITING TO HAVE SO MANY PEOPLE HERE.

IT'S LIKE, I KNOW.

SO LIKE A SMALL CONCERT.

, WOULD YOU LIKE TO SING? YEAH.

I, I CAN'T SING.

YOU DON'T WANT THAT .

I CANNOT SING.

SARAH HINSLEY, CITY MANAGER IN DENTON, TEXAS.

THANK YOU SO MUCH.

AS WE TRANSITION TO MR. BROAD NEXT, I WOULD LIKE TO REMIND EVERYBODY THAT THIS IS THE TIME YOU CAN GO AHEAD AND FILL OUT YOUR FORMS. DO DO THE QR CODE ON THAT CORNER.

IF YOU WANNA WAIT UNTIL BOTH OF THEM HAVE SPOKEN, THAT'S FINE TOO.

AND I DID HAVE A QUESTION WHERE, WHEN, IF THEY FILLED OUT THEIR QUESTIONNAIRE, WHERE WILL THEY PUT THAT AFTERWARDS? RIGHT OUT FRONT.

OKAY.

RIGHT OUT FRONT.

THERE'LL BE A PLACE TO, TO PUT THOSE.

SO TAKE A LITTLE TIME AND THINK ABOUT THE ANSWERS THAT SARAH HENSLEY GAVE AND CONTEMPLATE WHAT YOU THOUGHT.

WE'RE GONNA GET STARTED AGAIN.

EVERYONE THANKS SO MUCH.

WE'RE GONNA BRING OUT TC BROAD NEXT.

HE IS THE EXITING CITY MANAGER OF DALLAS, TEXAS.

PLEASE WELCOME HIM.

WAS THAT FOR ME? YEAH.

OH.

OH, OKAY.

HI, HOW ARE YOU? WELCOME.

OH, WELL, WE'LL START FROM THE VERY BEGINNING.

SURE.

TELL US ALL ABOUT YOURSELF, YOUR CAREER, AND WHY YOU THINK YOU'D BE THE BEST PERSON TO BE THE NEXT CITY MANAGER OF AUSTIN.

WELL, THANK YOU FOR THAT QUESTION.

FIRST OF ALL, THANK EVERYONE WHO CAME OUT TONIGHT.

I THINK AS STATED EARLIER, THIS IS DEFINITELY AN IMPORTANT DECISION FOR THE CITY COUNCIL AS WELL AS THIS CITY.

UH, PARTICULARLY AS IT RELATES TO, UH, I THINK THE AWESOMENESS OF THE ROLE OF CITY MANAGER.

AND SO HAVING SAID THAT, UH, FIRST AND FOREMOST HAVE A 30 YEAR, UH, CAREER OF EXECUTIVE, EXECUTIVE LEADERSHIP AND MANAGEMENT THAT SPANS IN SEVERAL DIFFERENT STATES.

UH, THAT HAS ALWAYS SITUATED ME, UH, IN THE CITY MANAGER'S OFFICE.

THAT'S REALLY BEEN THE BULK AND BREADTH OF MY CAREER STARTING IN SOUTH FLORIDA, WHERE I WORKED FOR THE CITY OF POMPANO BEACH, FLORIDA CITY OF ABOUT A HUNDRED IN 2000 AT THE TIME I WAS THERE.

UH, AND WAS THE BUDGET DIRECTOR AS WELL AS AN ASSISTANT CITY MANAGER AND DEPUTY CITY MANAGER AND RESPONSIBLE AND LEAD FOR THE COMMUNITY REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY, UH, THAT WAS SITUATED IN THAT CITY, DOING GREAT WORK AROUND AFFORDABLE HOUSING, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, AND REALLY UPLIFTING, UH, UNDERSERVED COMMUNITIES.

UH, FROM THERE, UH, I GRADUATED UP AND MOVED, UH, TO THE CITY OF SAN ANTONIO, UH, IN 2006, WHERE I SERVED AS ASSISTANT CITY MANAGER UNDER THE LEADERSHIP OF CHERYL SCULLY.

UH, WHICH ACTUALLY HELPED ADVANCE MY CAREER TO THE EXTENT THAT I LEARNED SO MUCH IN THAT FIVE YEARS WORKING IN THAT COMMUNITY, PARTICULARLY, UH, A MUCH LARGER COMMUNITY.

AND THE THINGS THAT I WAS ABLE TO DO AS AN ASSISTANT CITY MANAGER ACTUALLY ALLOWED ME TO ACTUALLY PRACTICE TO BE A CITY MANAGER, BECAUSE THAT WAS THE KIND OF LEADERSHIP MODEL, UH, THAT CHERYL, UH, REFLECTED IN HER LEADERSHIP TEAM.

UH, AND WORKED FOR THE CITY OF SAN ANTONIO, UH, IN THE AREAS OF DEVELOPMENT SERVICES, UH, ANIMAL CARE SERVICES PLANNING, UH, AND HISTORIC PRESERVATION AS WELL AS CODE ENFORCEMENT DURING MY TIME THERE.

AND THEN ULTIMATELY BECAME THE CITY MANAGER OF CITY OF TACOMA, WASHINGTON IN 2012, WHERE I LED THAT CITY FOR FIVE YEARS, POPULATION OF ABOUT 210,000 AT THE TIME.

[00:35:01]

UH, DID A LOT OF THINGS THAT I BELIEVE CHANGED THE DIRECTION OF THAT CITY, ONE FINANCIALLY, UH, TO PUT THEM ON STEADY GROUND, UH, GIVEN THE TIMING AT WHICH I ARRIVED IN THEIR ORGANIZATION.

AND THEN JUST ORGANIZATIONALLY AS IT RELATES TO REBUILDING, I THINK, THE FABRIC OF WHAT CITY SERVICES NEEDED TO LOOK LIKE, AS WELL AS THE MORALE IN THE ORGANIZATION GIVEN, UH, SOME OF THE ISSUES AND CHALLENGES THAT THAT CITY HAD FACED.

I WORKED THERE FOR ABOUT FIVE YEARS, FROM 2012 TO 2017, AND THEN ULTIMATELY, UH, WAS BLESSED TO BECOME THE CITY MANAGER IN THE CITY OF DALLAS.

OBVIOUSLY 1.3 MILLION PEOPLE, 13,000 EMPLOYEES.

A VERY COMPLEX JOB, A LOT OF RESPONSIBILITY, OBVIOUSLY ACROSS A LOT OF SIMILAR AREAS THAT I THINK THIS CITY HAS TO ADDRESS AND DEAL WITH.

UH, 13,000 EMPLOYEES, AS YOU CAN IMAGINE, UH, IS, UH, QUITE A FEAT.

BUT, UH, WE'VE DONE AMAZING THINGS.

I BELIEVE IN MY TEAM HAS DONE AMAZING THINGS SINCE I'VE BEEN THERE, WORKING WITH THE COUNCIL AS WELL AS THE COMMUNITY.

AND ONE OF THE THINGS THAT I THINK HAS BEEN MORE BENEFICIAL TO ME, AND I THINK REFLECTIVE OF THE WORK WE'VE BEEN ABLE TO DO IS REALLY THE ALLOW THE ALLOWANCE I'VE HAD TO REALLY ENGAGE AT THE LEVEL IN AN AUTHENTIC WAY WITH THE COMMUNITY, UH, AND PROVIDE THEM WITH AN OPPORTUNITY, UH, TO HELP SHAPE HOW OUR CITY MOVES FORWARD AND HOW WE PROVIDE SERVICES.

SO AGAIN, UH, A FULL 30 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE, UH, IN LARGE ORGANIZATIONS, UH, WORKING THROUGH A MYRIAD OF ISSUES ACTUALLY HAVE SPENT QUITE A BIT OF TIME IN THE PROFESSION, UH, WORKING WITH OTHER, UH, CITY MANAGERS AND THE PROFESSION AS A WHOLE TO REALLY SHAPE HOW THIS WORK SHOULD BE DONE IN A MEANINGFUL WAY, PARTICULARLY IN THE AREAS OF DIVERSITY AND EQUITY AND INCLUSION.

SO AGAIN, HAPPY TO BE HERE, AND AGAIN, THANK YOU FOR COMING AND LISTENING TO ME THIS EVENING.

THAT SEGUES WELL INTO MY NEXT QUESTION.

SURE.

BECAUSE DEI IS A, IS A PRIORITY FOR OUR COMMUNITY.

HOW DO YOU ENVISION INTEGRATING PRINCIPLES OF DIVERSITY, EQUITY, AND INCLUSION AND REALLY BELONGING INTO STRATEGIC PLANNING AND DAY TO DAY OPERATIONS OF OUR CITY GOVERNMENT SO THAT PEOPLE FEEL REPRESENTED, BOTH EMPLOYEES AND REP AND AND RESIDENTS? SO FIRST YOU TOUCHED ON AN IMPORTANT POINT IN ELEMENT THAT I'LL DEFINITELY SPEAK TO, PARTICULARLY AROUND THE STRATEGIC PLANNING ASPECTS OF IT.

BUT FIRST AND FOREMOST, YOU'VE GOTTA HAVE A COUNCIL AND ELECTED OFFICIALS THAT BELIEVE IN THAT AND FEEL COMFORTABLE HAVING THOSE TYPES OF CONVERSATIONS, UH, WITH THEIR LEADERSHIP TEAM.

AND THAT'S AN EASY BUTTON ISSUE FOR ME.

AND SO AS LONG AS THE COUNCIL SUPPORTS IT, EVEN IN SOME CASES, UH, IF THEY DON'T, I NEED TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO HELP THEM UNDERSTAND WHY THAT MATTERS.

I DON'T THINK THAT'S AN ISSUE HERE, UH, IN THE CITY OF AUSTIN.

SO AS IT RELATES TO HOW A GO ABOUT DOING IT, WE'VE DONE THAT SUCCESSFULLY, I BELIEVE, UH, IN THE CITY OF DALLAS.

ONE, WITHIN FACT, WE'VE ADOPTED RECENTLY, I THINK IN 2022, UH, THE CITY'S FIRST, UH, RACIAL EQUITY PLAN THAT DEALT WITH DIVERSITY THROUGH ALL SWATHS OF HOW OUR DEPARTMENTS DELIVER, UH, AND PROVIDE SERVICES.

BUT EVEN BEFORE WE HAD THAT PLAN, WE WERE DOING WORK PARTICULARLY AROUND DIVERSITY AND EQUITY, UH, JUST GIVEN WHO THEY HIRED AS THE CITY MANAGER.

I THINK WITHIN 45 DAYS OF ME ARRIVING IN 2017, I ESTABLISHED THE OFFICE OF WELCOMING COMMUNITIES AND IMMIGRANT AFFAIRS IN OUR CITY, UH, GIVEN OUR POPULATION AND THE DIVERSENESS OF IT AND THE AMOUNT OF IMMIGRANTS IN OUR COMMUNITY, UH, STOOD THAT UP.

ACTUALLY, WE WERE THE FIRST CITY IN TEXAS TO BE CERTIFIED AS A WELCOMING COMMUNITY, UH, IN HOW WE ENGAGE.

YOU.

FAST FORWARD, PROBABLY A YEAR LATER, I ESTABLISHED THE FIRST OFFICE OF EQUITY, UH, AND INCLUSION IN THE CITY.

ALSO ESTABLISHED THE FIRST OFFICE OF EQUITY IN THE CITY OF TACOMA, UH, AND ACTUALLY HAVE ADVANCED EQUITY THROUGHOUT OUR CITY AND MADE IT A RESPONSIBILITY OF ALL OF OUR EMPLOYEES IN THE ORGANIZATION.

YOU DON'T GET TO PICK AND CHOOSE.

WE'VE ACTUALLY GOT, UH, DEFINED MEASURES AND IMPLEMENTABLE STEPS IN OUR RACIAL EQUITY PLAN ON HOW THEY'RE GOING TO ADVANCE THAT.

WE ARE ONE OF A FEW CITIES IN THE COUNTRY THAT, UH, INVOKE AND USE THE BUDGETING FOR EQUITY TOOL, UH, TO REALLY GO ABOUT OUR BUDGET WHERE ALL 42 OF OUR DEPARTMENTS HAVE TO DEMONSTRATE AND SHARE HOW THEY'RE GOING TO ADVANCE EQUITY, UH, IN THE DELIVERY OF THEIR SERVICES AND THE RESOURCES THAT WE PROVIDE.

IN ADDITION, WE HAVE BAKED IN TO YOUR FIRST QUESTION, WE BAKED IN EQUITY AND DIVERSITY AND INCLUSIVENESS IN ALL OF THE PLANS THAT HAVE BEEN CREATED AND ESTABLISHED WITH COMMUNITY SINCE MY HIRING IN THE CITY OF DALLAS.

SO THAT THERE IS NO QUESTION THAT THE OUTCOMES FOR PEOPLE MATTER NO MATTER WHERE THEY ARE IN OUR COMMUNITY.

YOU SHOULDN'T BE DEFINED AND OR BE LIMITED BY WHAT YOUR ZIP CODE HAS TO BE.

AND SO AGAIN, I THINK IT'S EASY TO TALK ABOUT WANTING TO IMPLEMENT EQUITY AS AN ORGANIZATION OR EVEN AS A LEADER, BUT WHEN IT'S A PART OF YOUR DNA AND WHO YOU ARE AS A PERSON

[00:40:01]

AND A LEADER, I THINK IT'S EASY 'CAUSE I SHOW UP LIKE THAT EVERY DAY AND I EXPECT THE PEOPLE THAT WORK FOR ME TO HAVE THE SAME TYPE OF VALUES AND PRINCIPLES ASSOCIATED WITH DIVERSITY AND EQUITY AND INCLUSION ACROSS ALL DIFFERENT PIECES AND ELEMENTS OF WHAT THAT REPRESENTS FOR WHO YOU ARE.

LIKE MOST LARGE CITIES, AUSTIN HAS A HIGH NUMBER OF PEOPLE EXPERIENCING HOMELESSNESS.

THIS IS A BIG ISSUE HERE.

WHAT HAVE YOU DONE ON THIS PARTICULAR ISSUE IN YOUR PRIOR EXPERIENCE, AND WHAT IMPACT DID THOSE ACTIONS MAKE ON THAT ISSUE OF HOMELESSNESS? GREAT QUESTION.

AND DEFINITELY, UH, ON THE TOP OF MIND, I THINK OF ALL MAYORS AND COUNCILS AND FOLK THAT LIVE, UH, AND THRIVE IN COMMUNITIES, SEEING AND UNDERSTANDING THE HARDSHIPS THAT BEFALL, UH, MANY PEOPLE THAT LIVE IN THEIR COMMUNITY.

UH, AND SO I'VE BEEN AT THAT WORK, UH, SINCE MY TIME ACTUALLY IN TACOMA, UH, WHERE WE WERE DOING THINGS A LITTLE BIT DIFFERENTLY.

HOMELESSNESS WAS LOOKED AT, AND NOT PROBABLY AS INVASIVE AS IT IS, I THINK, IN CERTAIN ELEMENTS JUST BECAUSE OF THE COST OF LIVING AND JUST THE WAY PEOPLE ROLLED THERE.

BUT WE DID SOME THINGS, AT LEAST IN OUR CITY, UH, UH, INITIALLY, UH, THAT PARTICULARLY AROUND YOUTH AND THE HOMELESSNESS AS WE JUST BEGAN TO GET INTRODUCED TO IT UP THERE WHERE WE WERE CONVERTING SENIOR CENTERS THAT WERE SHUT DOWN AT NIGHT, OPENING THEM UP IN THE EVENINGS AS YOUTH SHELTERS, UH, FOR OUR YOUTH AND THOSE WHO WERE NOT HOUSED AND REALLY DID SOMETHING OUT OF CHARACTER FOR OUR CITY AND WAS WITH GREAT SUCCESS AND A LOT OF WELCOME RECEPTION AND EVERYBODY WANTED TO PITCH IN DAY ONE.

UH, EVEN BEFORE I STARTED IN DALLAS, I HAD TO SHARE WITH MY CITY COUNCIL, PARTICULARLY AS I BEGAN TO LOOK AROUND THE COMMUNITY AND UNDERSTOOD HOW THEY HAD MANAGED THROUGH HOMELESSNESS, UH, RELATED RESPONSES THAT THE CITY OF DALLAS NEEDED TO OWN THE HOMELESS PROBLEM IN THE CITY, UH, AND FIGURE OUT HOW WE WERE GOING TO MANAGE AND GET TO A BETTER PLACE WITH IT.

AND SO AGAIN, I THINK THAT WAS APPRECIATED BY MY COUNCIL, UH, BECAUSE OBVIOUSLY THOSE ARE THEIR CONSTITUENTS AND OR SHOULD BE AND WOULD BE.

AND SO WE'VE DONE, I THINK, I THINK A GREAT JOB OR A BETTER JOB THAN WE HAVE IN THE PAST.

WE BEGAN AN INITIATIVE IN 2021, AND I'M SORRY FOR THIS LONG-WINDED ANSWER.

NO, NO, NO, YOU'RE DOING FINE.

IN 2021, UH, DURING, UH, THE PANDEMIC IN PARTNERSHIP, UH, WITH OUR, UH, HOMELESS, UH, CONTINUUM OF CARE PROVIDER HOUSING FORWARD, AS WELL AS THE COUNTY, UH, AS WELL AS THE HOUSING AUTHORITY AND THE PRIVATE SECTOR AND A FEW OTHER CITIES, UH, IN THE AMOUNT OF ABOUT $75 MILLION OF EQUAL FUNDING FROM THE CITY AND COUNTY.

AND THEN 12 MILLION RAISED BY, UH, THE PUBLIC, UH, TO ACTUALLY BEGIN WHAT WE CALLED OUR DALLAS RAPID REHOUSING PROGRAM.

UH, WE STARTED THAT OFFICIALLY IN OCTOBER, 2021, UH, WITH A GOAL OF HOUSING, UH, PERMANENTLY UP TO 2,500 PEOPLE.

UH, IN TWO YEARS.

WE ACTUALLY GIVEN OUR APPROACH, WHICH WAS AN ENCAMPMENT TO HOUSING STRATEGY, NOT HAVING TO TOUCH INDIVIDUALS TWO AND THREE TIMES TO GET THEM TEMPORARILY HOUSED AND THEN MOVE THEM INTO PERMANENT HOUSING.

WE ACTUALLY EXCEEDED THAT GOAL BY OCTOBER OF 2023.

WE WERE ALREADY AT 2,700, UH, FROM OCTOBER 21 TO 2023 BY, AT LEAST AS RECENTLY AS A WEEK AGO, WE'RE ALREADY AT 3,600 AS IT RELATES TO HOUSING PEOPLE PERMANENTLY WITH A 96% LEVEL OF KEEPING THOSE PEOPLE HOUSED AFTER A YEAR.

WE HAD THEN BEGAN TO LOOK AT STRETCHING THAT GOAL THINKING WE CAN BY 2025 GET TO 6,000.

WELL, I'M GLAD THE REPORT, IT WAS SHARED WITH OUR HOUSING HOMELESS COMMISSION TODAY THAT WE'VE ALREADY EXCEEDED THAT NUMBER.

UH, WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE NUMBERS THAT WE'VE PROVIDED AND HOUSED FOR PERMANENT SUPPORTIVE HOUSING, UH, AT ABOUT 350 SINCE MAY OF 2023, YOU ADD THAT NUMBER TO THE 3,600 AND THEN 2,400 OTHERS THAT WE WERE ACTUALLY ABLE TO KEEP FROM BEING HOMELESS AND GETTING THEM DIRECTLY INTO HOUSING BEFORE THEY ACTUALLY WERE ENDING UP ON THE STREET AND PUTTING THEM THROUGH.

AND IN OUR NETWORK OF HOUSING, WE HOUSED 2,400 OF THOSE.

SO WE HAVE ALREADY EXCEEDED 6,000.

BUT THE THINGS THAT ADDED TO THAT AND ADDED VALUE TO THAT WAS ONE, OUR ABILITY TO COLLABORATE.

WE HAD REAL CHALLENGES WHEN WE GOT TO TOWN, MEANING ME AND MY TEAM.

UH, BUT ONE, WE HAD TO HIRE SUBJECT MATTER EXPERTS TO HELP DO THAT WORK.

UH, WE HAD TO BE WILLING TO HELP GET OUR, UH, COC ENGAGED AND ACTUALLY HELP THEM GO THROUGH SOME MANAGEMENT CHANGES.

ACTUALLY, WERE ABLE TO NORMALIZE THE DATA, UH, IN OUR HMI SYSTEMS AND GOT ANYONE WHO WANTED TO ASSIST US AND WORK WITH US HAD TO BE ON THAT SYSTEM.

AND THAT WASN'T EASY CONVINCING THEM TO DO THAT, AS WELL AS LAID OUT A FOUR POINT

[00:45:01]

STRATEGY ON HOW WE WERE GOING TO DO IT.

AND SO I THINK WE'VE HAD GREAT SUCCESS.

WE'RE ACTUALLY IN UNSHELTERED HOMELESSNESS DOWN ABOUT 15% WHEN THE OTHER TRENDS THAT WAS LAST YEAR, THE OTHER TRENDS ARE POINTING UPWARD.

WE'VE ACTUALLY RECEIVED ABOUT 44% MORE FEDERAL FUNDING BECAUSE OF OUR MODEL AND OUR SUCCESS FROM THE FEDERAL, FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.

AND THEN WE'VE ACTUALLY BEEN ONE OF SEVEN CITIES THAT ARE IN A PART OF THE WHITE HOUSES ALL INSIDE PROGRAM BECAUSE OF WHAT WE'RE DOING AND HOW WE'RE DOING IT.

SO IT WOULD BE MY HOPE AND BELIEF THAT IF I AM FORTUNATE TO BE THE CITY MANAGER HERE, WE CAN GET THAT SAME KIND OF FOCUS AND APPROACH TO HOW WE DEAL WITH OUR UNHOUSED AND REALLY HAVE A SYSTEM AND HOPEFULLY AN ALL HANDS ON DECK, UH, ATTITUDE AS IT RELATES TO HOW WE APPROACH IT AND HAVE SIMILAR SUCCESSES HERE.

AND SO I'M EXCITED ABOUT WHAT WE'VE DONE IN DALLAS, AND I'M HOPEFUL THAT IF I WAS TO BE CITY MANAGER HERE WORKING WITH THE FOLK WHO NEED TO BE IN THE ROOM, I'D BE ABLE TO HAVE THAT SAME LEVEL OF SUCCESS.

HOW ARE WE DOING ON TIME? I WOULD LIKE FIVE MORE MINUTES TILL 10 OR 16 MINUTES.

SORRY.

OKAY.

ABOUT 16 MINUTES.

ALL RIGHT.

I JUST WANT, I WILL SHORTEN THOSE.

WELL, I WANNA MAKE SURE TO BE FAIR, I WANNA MAKE SURE WE GET TO ALL THE QUESTIONS.

THAT'S FINE.

SO THAT'S FINE.

IT MAY BE A LITTLE BIT SHORTER.

, I GOT.

WELL, THESE ARE COMPLICATED QUESTIONS.

I KNOW, AND I KNOW THAT ISSUE HAS A LOT OF DIFFERENT, AND YOU'VE WORKED IN A LOT OF PLACES AND YOU WANTED TO GIVE YOUR BACKGROUND ON IT.

DEFINITELY PUBLIC SAFETY IS A HUGE ISSUE HERE.

HOW WILL YOU WORK WITH THE COMMUNITY AND THE POLICE FORCE TO BALANCE THEIR CONCERNS? SO THAT IS THE BIG TOPIC.

AND I THINK POLICING, UH, AND HOW YOU POLICE I THINK IS IMPORTANT.

YOU KNOW, WHEN I LISTEN TO MY CHIEF TALK AND, AND HE'S IN A ROOM AND HE TALKS ABOUT WHAT PEOPLE DON'T EVER TELL HIM IN THOSE SMALL GROUPS, THEY NEVER DO NOT WANT THE POLICE TO SHOW UP.

THEY WANT THEM TO SHOW UP IN A RESPECTFUL MANNER.

UH, AND THAT POLICING SHOULD BE CONSISTENT WITH WHAT THE EXPECTATION IS.

AND EVERYBODY GETS TO HOME, GO HOME AT THE END OF THE NIGHT ON ANY ISSUE.

AND SO FOR ME, UH, I THINK IT'S REALLY, UH, HOW I LEAD AND WORK WITH MY POLICE CHIEF AND HOW I THINK THE CHIEF HAS TO HAVE A PERSPECTIVE, UH, THAT POLICING, UH, IS BETTER DONE, UH, WHEN YOU'RE WORKING, UH, AND ENGAGING WITH THE PUBLIC THAT'S INCLUSIVE OF OVERSIGHT.

HAVING AN ABILITY TO BE RECEPTIVE, WHICH I KNOW IS AN ISSUE HERE, UH, THAT STILL NEEDS TO BE RESOLVED, BUT HAVING SOME RESPECT FOR IT, UNDERSTANDING WHY THAT SHOULD AND IS NEEDED TO BALANCE OUT OR ALLOW PEOPLE TO HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE SURE AND UNDERSTAND THAT THEY HAVE A PLACE TO GO, SHOULD THEY FEEL LIKE SOMETHING DID NOT HAPPEN THE RIGHT WAY.

I THINK, YOU KNOW, SUPPORT FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT IS IMPORTANT, UH, BUT ALSO HOLDING THEM ACCOUNTABLE, UH, FOR PROTECTING AND SERVING AT THE SAME TIME.

AND I THINK, UH, WHEREVER I'VE BEEN, THAT'S BEEN THE TENOR IN THE TONE OF THE RELATIONSHIP, WHETHER WITH ASSOCIATIONS OR WITH THE POLICE CHIEF AND MORE RESPECTFULLY, UH, WITH THE COMMUNITY SHOWING UP AND BEING PRESENT, HAVING OFFICERS SIT IN THE SAME ROOM CIRCLES IF NEED BE, TO REALLY HAVE CONVERSATIONS ABOUT THE HISTORY OF LAW ENFORCEMENT IN THAT COMMUNITY.

WHAT COULD BE DONE BETTER, WHAT IS NEEDED AND WHAT THAT APPROACH SHOULD BE.

BUT AGAIN, I, I THINK THAT'S IMPORTANT.

THERE ARE THREE THINGS THAT A CITY ABSOLUTELY HAS TO DO, AND THAT'S POLICE, FIRE, AND INFRASTRUCTURE AND EVERYTHING ELSE IS JUST REALLY WHAT MAKES A COMMUNITY A COMMUNICATE A COMMUNITY.

AND SO POLICING IS IMPORTANT, BUT IT'S GOTTA BE DONE THE RIGHT WAY AND IN A CONSTITUTIONALLY RESPECTED WAY.

I WANNA MOVE ON TO TRANSPARENCY.

HOW DO YOU PLAN TO MAINTAIN TRANSPARENCY, MOST IMPORTANTLY, WITH STAKEHOLDERS WITHIN THIS COMMUNITY? THERE ARE A LOT OF STAKEHOLDERS HERE AS YOUR WORK IN CITY MANAGER'S OFFICE TRANSPARENCY.

WELL, AGAIN, I'VE SEEN, UH, AND READ OVER THIS LAST MONTH, THERE ARE A LOT OF AVENUES FOR INDIVIDUALS TO COMMUNICATE WITH THE CITY.

I THINK OUR COUNCIL HAS A PLATFORM WHERE THEY SHARE QUITE A BIT.

AND SO I, I'M NOT QUITE SURE WHAT THE INFRASTRUCTURE OF THE CITY IS AS IT RELATES TO THE CITY MANAGER'S OFFICE AND HOW THEY GET MESSAGES AND INFORMATION OUT.

FOR ME, UH, WHAT I TRY TO DO, ONE PERSONALLY AS IT RELATES TO THINGS AND DECISIONS AND OR CONVERSATIONS AND APPROACHES, IS REALLY SPENDING TIME OUT IN THE COMMUNITY PERSONALLY ME.

AND SO, IF ANYTHING IMPACTED ME THE MOST, IT WAS THE PANDEMIC 'CAUSE I WASN'T ABLE TO GO OUT AND DO THAT, UH, MEETING PEOPLE WHERE THEY ARE.

BUT WHAT I'VE TRIED TO DO IN OUR ORGANIZATION MORE BROADLY, UH, IS INSTEAD OF FOLK HAVING TO FIND AND DIG AROUND AND REQUEST AND DO PUBLIC INFORMATION REQUESTS FOR THINGS THAT THE CITY IS DOING, WE'VE TRIED TO ELEVATE ALL OF OUR, UH, OUTWARD FACING THINGS TO DASHBOARDS, UH, TO SHOW WHERE WE ARE IN THE PROGRESS OF

[00:50:01]

WHAT WE'RE DOING, SHOWING FEEDBACK LOOPS THAT WE HAVE, REALLY HAVING AN ABILITY AND ALLOWING PEOPLE TO ACTUALLY GO OUT AND GET WHAT THEY NEED.

AND MAYBE NOT EVEN HAVE TO WORK WITH OUR STAFF, BUT MAKE IT FUNGIBLE TO SO THEY CAN COME IN AND OUT OF IT.

AND ACTUALLY THAT ENHANCES FOLK MAYBE IN THEIR OWN NONPROFIT WORLDS AND OTHERS WHEN WE MAKE DATA AVAILABLE, RAW DATA SO THEY CAN SEE WHAT'S GOING ON.

WHETHER CRIME, WHETHER OUR RESPONSE TIMES, WHETHER JUST OUR ENGAGEMENT, YOU KNOW, WE'VE GOT FIVE VALUES IN OUR CITY, ONE OF THEM IS ENGAGEMENT.

SO WE'RE STILL TRYING TO PERFECT THAT TO THE BEST OF OUR ABILITIES.

BUT I DO BELIEVE PERSONALLY AND MY STAFF AND TEAM UNDERSTAND MY, UH, LEVEL OF EXPECTATION AROUND AUTHENTIC ENGAGEMENT.

AND SO I DON'T HIDE THE BALL.

I'M PROBABLY NOT YOUR TYPICAL CITY MANAGER BECAUSE I DON'T LET YOU LEAVE A ROOM ONE WITH MISINFORMATION.

I ALLOW YOU TO SHARE WITH ME IN WHATEVER MANNER, SHAPE, OR FORM YOU WANT.

BUT I'M GONNA COME BACK AT YOU WITH THE REALITIES OF WHAT THE SITUATION ARE SO THAT YOU DON'T LEAVE WITH ANY MISGIVINGS.

AND I DON'T WANT YOU WALKING AWAY THINKING SOMETHING'S GONNA HAPPEN, PARTICULARLY IF I KNOW IT'S GONNA BE CHALLENGING TO LET IT HAPPEN.

I'M GONNA TELL YOU THAT IN THE ROOM AND TELL YOU WHAT THOSE CHALLENGES ARE, TELL YOU WHAT WE'VE GOTTA WORK THROUGH, TELL YOU WHAT KIND OF SUPPORT YOU'LL NEED FROM YOUR ELECTED OFFICIALS TO REALLY LEVEL SET.

AT ANY POINT, I GET A CHANCE TO ENGAGE WITH YOU.

'CAUSE I WOULD NOT WANT YOU TO HAVE ANY IMPRESSION THAT I'M A CITY MANAGER, DOESN'T MEAN WHAT I SAY AND DOESN'T DO WHAT I SAY I'M GOING TO DO.

SO I WANNA ALWAYS MAKE SURE I'M ELEVATING AT LEAST MY LEVEL OF ENGAGEMENT SO PEOPLE KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT FROM ME.

SO I'M A BIG PROPONENT OF TRANSPARENCY.

I, I'VE LIVED MY LIFE IN A BUBBLE FOR THE LAST 30 TO 35 YEARS.

AND SO THAT'S EXPECTED AND I WELCOME THAT BECAUSE I THINK IT SHOWS A LEVEL OF ACCOUNTABILITY AND RESPECT FOR THE PEOPLE THAT ALLOW ME TO WORK FOR THEM.

SO TALKING ABOUT ACCOUNTABILITY, HOW WOULD YOU HOLD YOUR TEAM, YOUR LEADERSHIP TEAM ACCOUNTABLE FOR RESULTS? AND AT THE SAME TIME, HOW DO YOU MOTIVATE THEM, INCENTIVIZE THEM WITH ENOUGH FLEXIBILITY SO THEY FEEL FREE TO EXPERIMENT AND INNOVATE AND, AND TAKE ACTION IN DIFFERENT WAYS? SO WHEN YOU HAVE THE PRIVILEGE, UH, TO ONE, BE THE CITY MANAGER OF A CITY'S WONDERFUL AS AUSTIN AND BIG AND AS IMPACTFUL, PARTICULARLY AS IT RELATES TO THE THINGS YOU DO EVERY DAY, THAT'S NOTHING TO TAKE FOR GRANTED.

SO RE RESPECTIVELY, ASSISTANT CITY MANAGERS, CFOS, DIRECTORS, WHEN YOU