Monday, April 18, 2005


Another good Gurwitz column

Jonathan Gurwitz has another good column in Sunday’s paper taking the City Council to task for the fiasco surrounding the decision by Sheryl Sculley to pass up a job offer to be city manager in San Antonio.
He hits all the key points in the City Council’s sad tale:

* Trying to rush this process through right before a mayoral election
* Narrowing the field to one before starting salary negotiations
* And further weakening their bargaining power by announcing a salary range in advance

As Cincinnatus notes at The Jeffersonian, Gurwitz makes an excellent point about getting what you pay for - whether its $265,000 for a talented city manager who could save the city millions through efficient management over the years, or $20 per week for a City Council that can’t seem to get its act together.
And unless I’m mistaken, it would seem that Gurwitz may even share my disdain for San Antonio’s idiotic term limits law. If you are going to throw council members out after just two two-year terms it hardly gives them time to acquire any institutional knowledge or to learn from their mistakes.
Especially in budgetary juxtaposition to Ed Garza pissing away $6.4 million on a soccer team...that's more than 20 years of Sculley's salary...100 years or so of the increase in salary everyone was so worried about.
I have had it with people saying that members of the council only get $20. If they don't have reguylar jobs or own their own business you can bet that some company is paying them big bucks as a "retainer." Bexar Met Water was paying Rick Vasquez $4,000 a month to serve as a consultant during his term in office. The contract specifically said that he was to work 40 hours a week on water district business. As recent audits have shown he never stepped foot in the offices of Bexar Met or conducted any business on their behalf.
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