After Charter Amendment Vote, San Antonio City Manager Sheryl Sculley Announces Her Retirement

City Manager Sheryl Sculley's self evaluation is in, and Sheryl Sculley approves of Sheryl Sculley's performance. - CITY OF SAN ANTONIO/FACEBOOK
City of San Antonio/Facebook
City Manager Sheryl Sculley's self evaluation is in, and Sheryl Sculley approves of Sheryl Sculley's performance.
To paraphrase a former president: You won't have Sheryl Sculley to kick around anymore, San Antonio.

The powerful but controversial city manager will retire next year, the announcement coming less than a month after voters approved a charter amendment limiting pay and tenure for future holders of the office.

“I have decided to retire from the City of San Antonio in 2019," Sculley said in a statement supplied to local media. "I have committed to the mayor and city council to stay through the transition to the next city manager, but will leave no later than June 30, 2019.

"This is my decision. I've wanted to retire for at least two years, but have stayed to see through a number of major City projects such as the 2017 Bond Program development and approval, the Alamo Plan, our Equity Assessment Program and the Frost Tower P3. City Hall will be magnificent when it is fully restored in 2020."

Sculley, one of the nation's top-paid city managers, pulled down a base salary of $450,000 this year plus bonus options.

While that big paycheck made her an easy target for detractors, allies praised her as a steady executive who helped straighten out a bungling city hall when she arrived from Phoenix in 2005.

Sculley also garnered criticism for expanding her power while in the position and shunting aside locals in city positions while she recruited high-profile outsiders like Police Chief William McManus.

Councilman Greg Brockhouse, a former fire union consultant, has made Sculley's expanded power and hefty paycheck a centerpiece of his unfolding campaign to unseat Mayor Ron Nirenberg, a Sculley ally.

But the biggest signal of constituents' consternation over Sculley, was voters' approval of the fire union's charter amendment, which most political observers took as a litmus test on her power and pay.

In a press statement, Nirenberg said he would work with council to immediately find a successor. The statement also hints at a strategy for finding a qualified replacement, since the amendment's new pay limitations make it unlikely the city can lasso a candidate already working for another comparably sized city.

"Sheryl instilled a new level of professionalism, and developed an extraordinarily strong team of talented, dedicated executive leaders," Nirenberg said. "Several of them are clearly qualified to assume the role of city manager."

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