City Manager Spencer Cronk
About Austin’s Form of Government
Austin operates under a “Council-Manager” system of government. In this model, the Mayor and City Council are responsible for all legislative functions of the City. They appoint a professional City Manager who operates much like a CEO in private-sector businesses and who is tasked with carrying out City Council’s legislative and policy objectives.
The Austin City Manager is responsible for:
- Preparing a $4.2 billion budget for Council consideration and managing its passage
- Managing a City staff of more than 14,000 including overseeing recruiting and hiring
- Directing operations
- Recommending policies and programs to City Council, and carrying out Council policies
- Spearheading key initiatives
Spencer Cronk, City Manager
Before joining the City of Austin, Spencer Cronk was Minneapolis City Coordinator (City Administrator). He directed the management of Minneapolis city government by assisting the Mayor and City Council in defining City policy and establishing priorities, mobilizing department heads and staff to implement the Mayor and Council’s priorities, and working to strengthen the management and administrative systems of the City.
Mr. Cronk previously served as Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Administration, a role he was appointed to by Governor Mark Dayton in 2011. As Commissioner, Mr. Cronk led the state’s real property, purchasing, fleet, demographic analysis and risk management divisions responsible for more than $2 billion in State purchasing and the historic renovatiCecon of the Minnesota State Capitol. Additionally, Mr. Cronk also served as chair of the Minnesota Public Data Governance Advisory Committee, and as a member of the Environmental Quality Board and the Minnesota Indian Affairs Council.
Mr. Cronk received his bachelor’s degree with honors from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He is a graduate of Harvard University’s Senior Executives in State and Local Government Program and was a Public Affairs Fellow with the Coro New York Leadership Center.
Chief of Staff: Jason Alexander 512-974-2306
Executive Secretary and Scheduler: Rose Marie Martinez 512-974-2428
Rey Arellano, Assistant City Manager
- Strategic Outcome: Safety
- Austin Code Department
- Austin Fire
- Austin Police
- Austin / Travis County Medical Director
- Austin / Travis County Emergency Medical Services
- Downtown Austin Community Court
- Forensic Science
- Homeland Security & Emergency Management
- Information Security
- Watershed Protection
Rey Arellano was appointed Assistant City Manager in September 2013 and oversees the Public Safety Services outcome.
From 2006 through 2012, Rey served as Deputy City Manager & Chief Information Officer (CIO) for the City of Tacoma, Washington. He served as Interim City Manager for a seven-month period, during which time he obtained City Council approval to implement a two-phase plan to address a $31 million gap in a $399 million 2011-2012 biennial General Fund budget. His other major accomplishments included serving as the City’s lead in a multi-jurisdictional effort that led to the establishment of South Sound 9-1-1, a consolidated regional public safety communications dispatch center and the establishment of an Office of Sustainability. From 2002 through 2006, Rey served as Deputy City Manager & CIO for the City of San Diego, California.
Rey completed a 22‐year career as a U.S. Navy Officer, serving as a nuclear‐trained Submarine Officer on various submarines and other staff assignments. In his last tour of duty in the Navy, Rey served as Officer in Charge of the San Diego Detachment of Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Norfolk. In this position, he was responsible for the implementation and life cycle support of business and logistics software for over 700 Navy and Marine Corps sites in the Pacific Fleet. He earned a Master of Science in Information Management from Marymount University, Arlington, VA; and a Bachelor of Science in Physics from the United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD.
Veronica Briseño, Assistant City Manager
- Strategic Outcome: Government that Works for All
- Building Services
- Civil Rights
- Communications and Public Information
- Communications and Technology Management
- Financial Services
- Human Resources
- Intergovernmental Relations
- Labor Relations
Veronica Briseño was appointed Assistant City Manager in January 2022 and oversees the Government that Works for All outcome.
Briseño will be responsible for providing leadership to support City government to make it work effectively and collaboratively for everyone, and to ensure government is equitable, ethical, and innovative, as outlined in the City’s Strategic Direction Plan.
Briseño has extensive experience working for the City of Austin, most recently as the Chief Economic Recovery Officer. She was instrumental in providing leadership to the City of Austin’s COVID-19 pandemic economic recovery. This included leading 12 financial assistance programs for creatives and businesses and coordinating city-wide economic response efforts.
Briseño began her career with the City of Austin over 20 years ago. During that time, she held several positions with progressive responsibilities, beginning as an intern in the City Manager’s Office, working in a Council Office, serving as an Assistant Director and Director in the Small and Minority Business Resources Department, and various other executive roles. Her most recent roles have been Interim Homeless Strategy Officer, Interim President/Chief Executive Officer of Austin Economic Development Corporation, Economic Development Director, and Chief Economic Recovery Officer.
She has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Government and a Bachelor of Journalism and a Master of Public Affairs from the University of Texas at Austin.
Gina Fiandaca, Assistant City Manager
- Strategic Outcome: Mobility
- Austin Transportation
- Corridor Program Implementation
- Fleet Services
- Project Connect
- Public Works
Gina Fiandaca was appointed Assistant City Manager in May 2019 and oversees the Mobility outcome.
Gina most recently served as Commissioner of the City of Boston Transportation Department (BTD). As Commissioner, she oversaw staff who work together to ensure safe, efficient, and equitable access on Boston’s street system for all users through a combination of transportation planning, engineering, management, operations, and enforcement efforts. Under Gina’s leadership, the department released the 15-year, $4.74B “Go Boston 2030," which was Boston’s first major transportation plan in decades that included mobility projects and polices to expand access, improve safety, and ensure reliability.
Gina served as Chair of the City of Boston Air Pollution Control Commission, as well as a member of the City of Boston Public Improvement Commission and the Boston Emergency Management Agency, the National Association of Transportation Officials and the Massachusetts Area Planning Council. Gina received a bachelor’s degree from Suffolk University and an MBA from Boston University.
Rodney Gonzales, Assistant City Manager
- Strategic Outcome: Economic Opportunity & Affordability
- Austin Convention Center
- Development Services
- Economic Development
- Housing & Planning
- Real Estate Services
- Small & Minority Business Resources
Rodney Gonzales was appointed Assistant City Manager in February 2019 and oversees Economic Opportunity & Affordability outcome.
He has 23 years of experience in key leadership positions in local government, 13 of which are with the City of Austin. Rodney began his career in finance, serving as the Director of Finance for the cities of San Marcos and Luling, Texas.
As the former Director for the City of Austin’s Development Services Department, Rodney led key reforms at DSD aimed at achieving greater service delivery through process improvement, increasing employee training, and implementing new technology. Rodney’s focus on the workplace environment and alignment of vision and actions, were his guiding principles while developing a sustainable culture of excellent customer service.
As the former Deputy Director of the City of Austin’s Economic Development Department, Rodney led major economic development and redevelopment projects resulting in significant job creation, employee retention, and downtown revitalization. He spearheaded inaugural 2012 and 2013 U.S. Formula One Grands Prix, which included not only city-wide preparation but also included regional, state, and federal agency coordination.
Rodney holds a Masters Degree in Business Administration and a Bachelors degree from Texas State University. He is recognized as a Certified Public Manager from TSU, and he was a graduate level guest lecturer on the topic of public administration for several years at TSU.
Stephanie Hayden-Howard, Assistant City Manager
- Strategic Outcome: Health & Environment; Culture & Lifelong Learning
- Animal Services
- Austin Parks & Recreation
- Austin Public Health
- Austin Public Library
- Austin Resource Recovery
Stephanie Hayden-Howard was appointed Assistant City Manager over the Health and Environment and Culture and Lifelong Learning outcome beginning on May 10, 2021.
Mrs. Hayden-Howard began her career with the City of Austin in 2001. During that time, she held several positions with progressive responsibilities, including supervisor, manager, assistant director, deputy director, and most recently, serving as Director of Austin Public Health.
Stephanie is a champion for building trust in the community. Her leadership and commitment to public health led us through one of the most challenging health crises our community has ever faced. Under her leadership, APH successfully led the City’s response to COVID-19; developed and implemented the COVID-19 vaccine distribution, and successfully administered 300,000 COVID-19 vaccines. During her tenure with APH she developed several programs to meet the needs of the most vulnerable community members, and she initiated the re-accreditation process for Austin Public Health.
Mrs. Hayden-Howard holds a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work from Prairie View A&M University and a master’s in Social Work from the Worden School of Social Services at Our Lady of the Lake University. Mrs. Hayden-Howard is certified as a Youth Program Quality Assessor and Youth Work Management Training Consultant.
Stephanie has spent her career as a public servant, working in the field of public health and social services with more than twenty-six years in management. Prior to working for the City, she worked as the Director of Clinical Services at the Alternative Learning Center with Austin Independent School District and Assistant Director at the Williamson County Mental Health Center.
Stephanie is highly regarded in the community. She has received several accolades in her career including the National Forum of Black Public Administrators for the Distinguished Service award, Austin Area Urban League Founder’s award, Woman of the Year, for her work in the Health and Human Services field from the YWCA Greater Austin, the Bleu Lotus Project Honoree, 2019, the Pandemic Patriot Award in 2020, and she was named with the Austin Public Health Team as person of the year by Tribeza magazine for her incredible leadership during COVID-19.
Jason Alexander, Chief of Staff
- Areas of Responsibility
- City Manager’s Office
Jason Alexander was appointed Chief of Staff in January 2022. He brings a wealth of knowledge and broad operational perspective to this position.
During his nearly 18‐year career with the City, Mr. Alexander has worked in several departments in addition to the City Manager’s Office, including Parks and Recreation, Human Resources, Emergency Medical Services, and the Fire Department. In his most recent role as the Assistant to the City Manager, Mr. Alexander served as a member of the City’s executive team providing guidance and operational support to city leadership. He also managed complex, multi-departmental projects that included the City’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and Winter Storm Uri, assisted with the City’s long-term strategic planning, provided policy recommendations and supported budget development for the City Manager’s office.
As Chief of Staff, Mr. Alexander continues to support the City’s daily operations. He is also responsible for the administrative functions of the City Manager’s Office, and provides leadership and oversight to the City’s Equity, Innovation, Sustainability, and Resilience Offices.
Mr. Alexander has a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Public Administration from Texas State University. He is also a graduate of the Texas Municipal League Leadership Academy.
Ed Van Eenoo, Chief Financial Officer - Financial Services
- Areas of Responsibility
- Budget Office
- Capital Contracting
- Controller’s Office
- Office of Performance Management
- Purchasing Office
- Treasury Office
Ed Van Eenoo has worked for the City of Austin for 11 years, and spent eight of those years as the Deputy Chief Financial Officer. In his role as Deputy Chief Financial Officer, Mr. Van Eenoo was responsible for the development, presentation, and subsequent monitoring of the City’s $4.2 billion annual operating budget and $1.0 billion annual capital budget.
Under his leadership, the City’s budget has been a perennial winner of the Government Finance Officers Association’s award for Distinguished Budget Presentation and the International City/County Management Association’s Certificate of Excellence for performance measurement. In addition, he has developed and led many inclusive and innovative community engagement campaigns including the highly successful Budget-in-a-Box, which was awarded a Municipal Excellence Award for communication from the Texas Municipal League.
Other highlights from Mr. Van Eenoo’s background include:
- Member of the Board of Trustees for the $2.5 billion City of Austin Employees’ Retirement System since 2011 and the $860 million Austin Police Retirement System since 2019
- Selected by Bloomberg Philanthropies to be one of thirty financial leaders from cities across the country to participant in the What Works Cities Budgeting for Equity and Recovery Initiative
- Holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics from Eastern Michigan University and a Master of Science in Applied Economics from Virginia Tech