No new contract reached for city manager as expiration looms

Packed schedule pushed aside contract talks, Mayor Taylor says

SAN ANTONIO – As the year comes to an end, so does the contract for City Manager Sheryl Sculley.

But Sculley and the city won't be ringing in the new year with a new deal.

Mayor Ivy Taylor said the city simply ran out of time thanks to a full workload.

“We just haven’t got to it amidst all the heavy policy issues going on. But I’ve expressed to her on a couple of occasions that she does a wonderful job and we want to keep her,” Taylor said of Sculley.

Sculley will likely work without a new contract until at least the end of February, when Taylor hopes to have a performance review of the city manager completed.

Meanwhile, the San Antonio Police Officers Association is drawing comparisons to its own heated contract battle.

“Its total hypocrisy,” said Mike Helle, SAPOA president.

Helle argues that allowing Sculley to work without a contract is not much different than the SAPOA’s current situation.

The city unsuccessfully sued SAPOA over the clause in the union’s contract that allows it to operate for up to 10 years under the terms of its expired contract.

The city is planning an appeal.

“You have to practice what you preach,” Helle said. “If you’re going to say that those types of contracts are unconstitutional, we agree. She has one. Ours has an end date to it. Hers does not.”

But the city disagrees.

“There really is no comparison,” said Jeff Coyle, city of San Antonio spokesman.

Coyle argues there are differences in the contract situations because Sculley is an at-will employee who could be let go at any time.

“The union contract, on the other hand, keeps taxpayers on the hook until 2024,” Coyle said. “I guarantee you if the union contract could be canceled at any time like the city manager's contract, the union would be at the table bargaining right now and we wouldn’t be fighting it out in court.”

About the Author: