San Antonio City Manager Sheryl Sculley announces retirement

Announcement comes after voters approved city manager salary cap, term limits

By Van Darden - Managing Editor, David Ibanez - Web - Managing Editor

SAN ANTONIO - San Antonio City Manager Sheryl Sculley is stepping down after 13 years with the city.

City spokesman Jeff Coyle said Sculley is retiring, but will stay on no later than June 2019 to help transition in the next city manager.

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“I have decided to retire from the City of San Antonio in 2019. 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,” Sculley said in a statement released Thursday morning. “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. I’m tremendously proud of everything we’ve accomplished, and with the City’s excellent and highly capable executive team and staff, I have great confidence that positive progress will continue in our City – our San Antonio.”

The below video was provided to KSAT by the City. The interview was conducted by City spokespeople.

(Video courtesy: City of San Antonio)

Mayor Ron Nirenberg thanked Sculley for her service.

"Sheryl Sculley has been a truly outstanding city manager. She has delivered 13 years of exemplary fiscal stewardship. Under her leadership, San Antonio has become the best-run big city in the country," he said. "I thank Sheryl for all that she has done for the City of San Antonio. Her outstanding service has made San Antonio government more efficient, more cost-effective and a national model. 

"Being city manager is a tough job. After 13 years on the frontlines making difficult and controversial decisions, Sheryl has more than paid her dues as the longest-serving city manager in San Antonio's history. I respect her decision to retire, and I appreciate her willingness to stay on as city manager during the transition process to ensure a smooth beginning for her successor."

District 6 Councilman Greg Brockhouse, who publicly supported a charter amendment proposition that would limit the city manager's salary and term limits and which voters approved, agreed with Sculley's decision.

"I think the city manager has made the right decision by honoring the will of the voters and the people who spoke loudly and clearly on Nov. 6 to limit the pay and power of the city manager position here in San Antonio," he said. I've said from Day 1 -- although I've called consistently for change in the city manager's office since I took office -- I mean, this is what I ran on: Changing City Hall to make sure it's more responsive to the people, and that we listen to the citizens. 

"So I think that at the end of the day, we wish her well in the future. She's been a great success for San Antonio but the time has come for change. When you started paying council members full-time salaries, when you extended our term limits, we became more than a board of directors. We are now taking back that power and leadership in San Antonio and at City Hall and that's good for everybody -- it becomes much more responsive when the elected officials are in charge of the decision-making at City Hall."

As city manager, Sculley is responsible for all 12,000 city employees, overseeing city services and managing the budget, which is $2.8 billion for Fiscal Year 2018. The city's population is 1,511,946.

An accounting of San Antonio's top paid employees in 2017 obtained by KSAT 12 shows Sculley earned a base salary of $450,000. Other benefits increased her total compensation to $621,676.64.

Voters earlier this month approved a Charter amendment proposition that would cap the city managers salary and establish a term limit of up to eight years. 

City officials said Thursday that Proposition B would not have affected Sculley's current contract.

Sculley was the city manager in Phoenix, when she was hired in 2005 for the job in San Antonio. Her biography says she has more than 30 years of executive management experience. 

"The news is surprising and it's sad to me," said District 8 Councilman Manny Pelaez. "We're a city that during the recession, you know, we did better than any other city in the United States. We continue to attract very important jobs. 

"And you know it's not up for debate, in large part, because of the work Sheryl and her team do every single day. They make sure we've got clean parks, safe streets, good neighborhoods, excellent utilities, she'll be missed."

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