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Nirenberg, Council Outline Search For Next City Manager

Paul Flahive | Texas Public Radio

The search for a new San Antonio city manager kicks off Thursday as the city will post a job description on its website. Applications will be accepted until Jan. 3.

The city plans to use its own executive recruiter instead of a search firm. San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg didn't specifically name any leading candidate but said there are talented people already working for the city.

“I think worldwide searches for the next city manager will come right back to San Antonio. I believe that will be true in this case,” he said during a news conference Wednesday. “So there are great people that I have in mind that I would like to see as part of the applicant pool.”

The day after outgoing City Manager Sheryl Sculley announced her retirement last month, she expressed that same sentiment the city had many qualified candidates.

The search will test the impact of Proposition B, which voters approved last month. It limits the future city manager's salary to about $300,000 and caps tenure at 8 years. At the end of 2018, Sculley’s salary is $475,000 and she declined to accept a bonus of up to $100,000 earlier this week.

Nirenberg said the proposition does not clearly address the awarding of bonuses. He said it would be "good professional practice" for contracts to have incentive pay based on performance but stopped short of saying what that would look like.

“We are abiding by the spirit of what voters said with Proposition B — there’s not going to be any flouting of that,” he said.

He said it was very likely a new city manager would be appointed by the end of January. He promised it will be a transparent process.

“There will be a public symposium and there will also a be a period in which the finalist will meet with community members,” Nirenberg said. “ But accountability for the next city manager goes well beyond the hiring process.”

Joey Palacios can be reached at Joey@TPR.org and on Twitter at @Joeycules

Joey Palacios can be reached atJoey@TPR.org and on Twitter at @Joeycules