AUSTIN (KXAN) — After a City-wide after-action report was released Tuesday, KXAN City Hall reporter Grace Reader sat down with Mayor Kirk Watson to talk about what happens next.
You can find the full interview with the mayor, broken into topics highlighted in the report, below:
The report highlighted communication challenges between City, County and private-sector staff working the winter storm. There were challenges in determining which staff members should be doing what, meaning some departments were operating in a silo and others were duplicating work.
The report also found there a lack of translation services and for some, nonexistent services.
“We changed city managers, bringing in Jesús Garza to serve as Interim City Manager. We tasked him to begin immediately addressing our emergency preparedness and response,” Watson said in his newsletter this week.
Former City Manager Spencer Cronk was fired from his position shortly after the winter storm. Council members told us then, it was one of the major factors in their decision.
Sheltering the homeless
While City agencies did a good job coordinating shelter activations and pre-positioning supplies, the report found a need to distinguish services from each other, to better educate the public about what those services are, and to make sure the City has the capacity to meet the need.
What happens now?
“You will see me almost immediately pushing to implement changes,” Watson told KXAN prior to the report being released. “There will always be things that we wish we do better as you chase whatever the next disaster is, but when you’ve got a report that tells you how you messed things up on the first one, you better be trying to fix things in the next one.”
You can read KXAN’s in-depth break down of the 2023 report here.