City Manager Sheryl Sculley could earn as much as $475,000 annually by 2018 — a 18.75 percent increase over the $400,000 in base pays she makes now — if the City Council approves a three-year contract extension on Thursday.
In addition, Sculley could qualify for up to $100,000 annually in bonuses/
There’s little doubt that the extension will pass.
The council will discuss the matter Wednesday in executive session before voting Thursday on the contract. Mayor Ivy Taylor outlined the specifics of the deal in a text message she sent late Tuesday to the City Council.
“The amendment provides her with a fair and reasonable pay increase as a result of her excellent performance, while establishing metrics against which the City Council will measure her future performance,” the mayor’s text said. “The amendment is on Thursday’s agenda and I’ve discussed with each of you.”
The text went on to enumerate the details: It’s a three-year agreement that runs through December 2018, and the severance clause, or “golden parachute,” will be reduced from 21 months of base-salary pay to 12 months.
She will earn $25,000 increases each year in base pay. Assuming she meets metrics set by herself and the mayor, and reviewed by the council, she would then be eligible for up to $100,000 in performance pay each year.
Once the council approves the contract, Sculley’s salary will increase from $400,000 to $425,000. She could go to $450,000 in 2017 and $475,000 in 2018.
“The City Manager’s base pay will be increased by 5% to 6% each year, which is consistent with pay increases awarded to other top performing executives within the organization,” Taylor’s text to the council said. The first increase would be at 6.25 percent; the second would be 5.88 percent; and the third would be 5.55 percent.
“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,” the text said.
Richard Perez, the president of the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce and a former council member who served on the council that hired Sculley, said she has met and exceeded every task the council has thrown at her. When she was hired, Perez said, Sculley was charged with “four clear mandates” — to transform the caliber of people running the city “from good to great,” to improve the city’s finances, to spend more money on improving local infrastructure, and to increase resident satisfaction in city services.
Perez pointed to people like Police Chief William McManus, Fire Chief Charles Hood, Sculley’s deputy and assistant city managers and Rod Sanchez, who oversees the Development Services Department. He said Sculley built local fund reserves, which in part, led to a Triple-A bond rating, allowing San Antonio to do more infrastructure work and save money on lower interest rates for debt.
And he noted that residents are more satisfied than they’ve ever been with municipal services.
Councilman Rey Saldaña said he’s comfortable with the contract stipulations council will take up on Thursday.
“I’ve got no doubt in my mind that she loves and enjoys and has a ton of experience in San Antonio,” he said. “A package like this will ensure she stays.”
Sculley is leading efforts by the city to restructure public-safety contracts. Talks between the city and the police union have turned acrimonious.
Mike Helle, the president of the San Antonio Police Officers Association, said he has heard so much speculation on the contract terms for the city manager that he wasn’t sure that the numbers in Taylor’s text would be what ultimately is presented Thursday. He said, however, that there’s been far too little transparency in the discussion about the city’s top-paid employee.
The call for public input, he said, “fell on deaf ears.”
“My god, what are we, less than 48 hours from the vote, and nobody’s seen anything yet about what it is,” he said. “Why the secrecy?”