Bruce Todd, former mayor of Austin and Travis County commissioner, dies at 72

The former Austin mayor and Travis County commissioner died Dec. 25 at the age of 72. (Credit: Elizabeth Christian Public Relations)

Former Austin Mayor and Travis County Commissioner Bruce Todd died on December 25 at the age of 72.

Todd’s political activities included planning for growth in Austin and Travis County in the 1980s and 1990s, with an emphasis on recruiting businesses, improving infrastructure, and preserving the environment. . Todd served as county commissioner for a total of five years and served as mayor of Austin for six years.

Several sitting city council members, including Mayor Steve Adler, commented on Todd’s death and his service to the city over the Christmas holiday weekend.

“Mayor Bruce Todd was one of the greatest local public servants of our generation. He has done so much in so many different roles. His kindness and support will be personally missed. Today Austin and Travis County embrace Elizabeth and celebrate Mayor Todd, ”Adler said. said in a December 25 tweet.

City Manager Spencer Cronk also credited Todd’s work for the city.

“Like so many others in our community, the city joins in the mourning of former Mayor Bruce Todd who served with honor and distinction. We have the utmost respect and appreciation for his service and his dedication to making Austin a better community for all, ”Cronk said in a statement.

Todd was born in Breckenridge in December 1949 and moved to Austin in the late 1960s to study at the University of Texas. He also found work at the city’s municipal court. After graduating from UT, Todd practiced accountancy until 1986 when he began political office.

Todd was elected Travis County Ward 2 Commissioner in 1986 and served his first term in that role from 1987 to 1991. Todd’s goals as County Commissioner included supporting the region’s economic growth. , the preservation of nature and the consolidation of county operations.

After Todd’s friend and former Austin mayor C. Lee Cooke decided not to run for a second term with the city in 1991, Todd entered the mayoral race and ultimately won the second round. elections. He was then re-elected for a second term in another second round in June 1994.

Some of Todd’s political accomplishments as mayor have included recruiting and expanding businesses in the city, including AMD, Applied Materials, Motorola, and Samsung Austin Semiconductor. He also pushed for the establishment of the Balcones Canyonlands Conservation Reserve on the western outskirts of the city, participated in the planning and campaigning for the transfer from Austin Airport to the former Bergstrom Air Force Base. and supported the ban on smoking in the city’s bars and restaurants.

Todd was replaced in 1997 by Kirk Watson, who credited Todd’s character on social media after his death.

“A really good guy. A person with great optimism and who has found happiness in helping others. And he was quickly laughing with enthusiasm,” Watson said in a Dec. 25 tweet.

After his two terms as mayor, Todd founded Bruce Todd Public Affairs and the state railroad relocation group Rail Relo NOW. Todd returned to the political arena in 2013, when he was re-appointed as Travis County Ward 2 commissioner due to a vacant court position.

Todd died on December 25 from complications from Lewy Body Disease. He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth Christian; son, Jeremy Todd; and her stepdaughter, Alexandra Rose, as well as five siblings and their families.

Todd, left, with wife Elizabeth Christian, son Jeremy Todd and stepdaughter Alexandra Rose.  (Courtesy of Elizabeth Christian Public Relations)

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