Many Austinites are struggling with affordability right now, but there’s at least one person who’s not—the Austin city manager.
In addition to his $325,000 base salary, $7,200 annual executive allowance, and other health and retirement benefits, the city manager is also the beneficiary of a very generous $4,500 per month housing allowance. If you’re curious what that’ll get you in and around Austin, check out KUT’s article: Here’s What Spencer Cronk Can Afford to Rent on a $4,500-A-Month Allowance.
As if that’s not infuriating enough, the Austin city council will next week vote on whether to extend Mr. Cronk’s temporary housing allowance, which has been in place since February. The current measure is set to expire in August and, if the extension is passes, the allowance will continue till next February.
CBS Austin reached out to the city for comment and were told that he hasn’t found housing yet because “he has been busy since starting the job”. While running a large city like Austin may indeed be a busy job, it is a poor excuse for taking from the public coffers. Especially when there are so many other higher important priorities.
For example, that’s money that could be put toward the city of Austin’s almost $10 billion in debt. Or its $2.4 billion in unfunded pension liabilities. Or its heavily congested roadways and thoroughfares. And the list goes on.
There are countless better ways to spend this hard-earned taxpayer money. Neither Austin officials nor taxpayers should not support renewing this kind of administrative excess, especially when so many others are struggling just to make ends meet.