SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) — San Antonio City Council has unanimously approved Erik Walsh as the next city manager.
“I have no doubt that Erik is the right person for the job,” said Mayor Ron Nirenberg,” before the vote was taken Thursday morning. “He is a consummate professional with a cool, calm demeanor.”
Nirenberg said San Antonio is on a roll.
“There has never been a better time to live and invest here and Erik Walsh will be a city manager who ensures this city will keep the momentum going,” said the mayor.
Not everyone was on board with Walsh early on in the selection process. District 5 City Councilwoman Shirley Gonzales told Walsh at Thursday’s meeting that he wasn’t her first choice.
“You were not even my second choice for this job. And then we had an opportunity to meet one-on-one, and then I was absolutely convinced you were not the right person for this job,” Gonzales said from the dais.
She was concerned that he didn’t understand the issues of her West Side council district, but after some time to reflect, she had a change of heart.
“I can see that you are a man who’s very committed, a man who’s hard working, honest, reliable, open-hearted, open to ideas,” she said. Gonzales got emotional and fought back tears as she noted that Walsh had his family in the City Council chambers.
“I can’t imagine any more important mission in life than to have the support of your family, your wife and your children. I think that is truly the man that you are,” she said, adding that she looks forward to working with Walsh for the remainder of her time on the council.
Walsh’s first official day in his new job will be March 1. He’s replacing Sheryl Sculley who’s retiring.
His base salary will be $312,000, which is the maximum allowed by Proposition B. The charter amendment was approved by voters in November. He’ll also get monthly allowances for cellphone, vehicle, travel and other expenses.
“I am excited, honored and humbled to be the next city manager,” Walsh told city council. “I’m committed to doing the best for this community.”