San Antonio City Manager Sheryl Sculley will receive a $75,000 bonus after city council members met in executive session on Thursday and reviewed her 2017 performance.
Sculley was eligible to receive up to $100,000 based on a three-year contract approved by the city council in 2016. The bonus was performance pay.
Sculley’s current base salary is $475,000, which is up $25,000 from last year -- an increase written into her contract.
The council evaluated Sculley’s performance in a closed-door meeting because it was a personnel issue.
San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg said the $75,000 figure was determined based on a consensus of council members. He added that part of the decision was based on how Sculley managed the city’s budget.
“We have a fantastic city manager, and the fact is -- compared to many other public employees at the CEO level and above -- she is underpaid, believe it or not,” Nirenberg said.
Nirenberg's list of Sculley's successes included delivering the 2017 bond package with the city’s highest voter approval rating, completing projects on time and under budget and passing a budget that included projects based on equity.
However, there were no metrics in place to determine how the 2017 bonus was calculated. That was something District 6 Councilman Greg Brockhouse took issue with.
“I think Sheryl’s had wildly successful years [but] I do believe it’s time we had accountability. What’s sad is we’re giving this bonus with zero documentation … that’s not leadership. What that is is we’re passing the buck at this point. We’re offering somebody an exorbitant amount of money.”
Brockhouse said Sculley’s bonus is nearly twice the amount of some working families' yearly household income. The U.S. Census lists San Antonio’s median household income in 2016 dollars is about $48,000.
Nirenberg said metrics would be added in future performance-pay considerations.
“So what we’re going to do is engage a professional consultant to give us a compensation survey to make sure we have the salary level set at the appropriate level but also to make sure we have professionalized metrics moving forward. That process takes some time. It will take a good six months to get it assembled,” he said.
Sculley’s current contract expires at the end of 2018.
Joey Palacios can be reached at Joey@TPR.org and on Twitter at @Joeycules