It wasn’t unanimous, but City Manager Sheryl Sculley got a three year contract extension and a raise.
The San Antonio City Council approved the contract Thursday afternoon.
“If you want the best city manager in the United States, you need to be willing to pay for the best city manager in the United States,” Councilman Joe Krier said, before he voted yes on the contract.
“Sheryl’s performance, as it relates to the health and welfare of our city, is second to none,” Councilman Ron Nirenberg said. He too supported the extension.
The final vote was 8-3.
“And I felt that we just did not have enough time to fully vet this with our community,” Councilman Cris Medina said. “We just received kind of the final draft yesterday (Wednesday).”
Medina, Councilwoman Shirley Gonzales, and Councilman Ray Lopez were the three “no” votes. Lopez said his no vote had nothing to do with Sculley’s performance, instead it was about the lack of description on what her performance bonus would be based on.
“Simply let’s wait until those goals are set out and then we can have a discussion on exactly how that money is going to be spent,” Lopez said.
But Mayor Ivy Taylor ensured the council that “we have to expect outstanding performance and we have to monitor and ensure accountability.”
During the discussion, at least two council members brought up the contract impasse with the public safety unions.
“Public safety is still our number one priority,” Cris Medina said. “And in 2015, really see a deterioration of the level of relationships that we’ve had, historically in this city, with our men and women in uniform. It’s really been sad to see.”
Medina did not blame the current impasse entirely on Sheryl Sculley, “but I do believe that leadership starts at the top and the buck does stop with her,” he said.
Medina wasn’t the only one to bring up the contract situation. Councilwoman Shirley Gonzales said she’s disappointed with the contract situation, and called for them to be settled.
“I believe that these negotiations have been expensive and have not been productive,” she said.
San Antonio Professional Firefighters Union President Chris Steele focused on the three “no” votes on the city manager’s extension.
“With it not being a unanimous vote, she probably needs to do her job better,” Steele told reporters after the vote.
But most of the council was quick to support Sculley during the discussion of her extension, highlighting her performance in many areas that have put the city in a good position.
Here are the details of Sculley’s extension (as provided by the Mayor’s office):
The contract amendment includes:
- A three-year agreement that runs through December of 2018;
- The existing severance clause – in the event the City Manager is involuntarily terminated – is reduced from 21 months to 12 months, which is what was in the original contract;
- A base pay increase of 5% to 6% each year, which is consistent with pay increases awarded to other top performing executives within the organization:
- $400,000 to $425,000 in 2016, a 6.25% increase
- $425,000 to $450,000 in 2017, a 5.88% increase
- $450,000 to $475,000 in 2018, a 5.55% increase;
- The City Manager’s existing retention pay – intended to incentivize her to remain with the City of San Antonio – will be replaced with annual performance pay subject to a review by the City Council based upon metrics developed in advance by the Mayor and City Manager.