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KCMO City Manager Brian Platt named as finalist for job in Austin, Texas

KCMO city manager Brian Platt
Posted at 4:01 PM, Mar 05, 2024

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City, Missouri, City Manager Brian Platt is a finalist for a job as the city manager of Austin, Texas, a spokesperson for the city confirmed on Monday.

Platt, who hired as KCMO's city manager in 2020, is among three finalists for the job.

He joins T.C. Broadnax of Dallas, Texas, and Sara Hensley of Denton, Texas, — both current city managers in their respective cities — as a finalist.

KCMO Mayor Quinton Lucas said on X (formerly Twitter) said his office would take efforts to keep Platt in Kansas City.

"We appreciate Austin’s recognition of the success of Kansas City and its government over the past four years and our top administrator, Brian Platt," Lucas said in the social media post. "I was proud to recommend his hire four years ago and we will work hard to retain him and his team in Kansas City."

Platt's appointment prompted a heated debate among KCMO council members in October 2020 about his selection process.

Just two days before Platt's approval as city manager, The Jersey City Times leaked that he'd been offered the job in an article that was later deleted.

This upset some KCMO council members, including Heather Hall, because the full council hadn't voted to appoint Platt yet.

“I have a real conflict brewing in me about starting a relationship with a new leader of our city in this manner,” Hall said at the time.

Still, the council later approved his appointment in a 9-4 vote.

Platt's tenure in Kansas City has been rocky with some of his city staff and members of the city council.

In November 2022, Chris Hernandez, the former director of communication for KCMO, filed a lawsuit against the city.

Hernandez claimed he was demoted for not helping Platt "lie to the media," among other things.

Attorneys for the city filed a motion to have the lawsuit dismissed.

Last April, KCMO Councilwoman Melissa Robinson attempted to organize a "no-confidence" vote in Platt.

Robinson said the council received complaints about how Platt has ran his office and the city's government.

Robinson eventually put her efforts on hold.

Next up, Platt will join Broadnax and Hensley in Austin on March 25 to participate in meetings with city staff.

That same evening, Platt will participate in a community town hall.

On March 26, Platt will be interviewed by Austin's mayor and city council.

The candidates will be asked to return to Austin on April 1 for additional discussion, before contract negotiations begin April 2 with the selected candidate.

Before being hired in KCMO, Platt served as Jersey City, New Jersey's, city manager since 2018.