The Kyle City Council renewed the contract of City Manager Scott Sellers on Monday, but the decision was not unanimous.
District 6 Council member Daphne Tenorio was the sole dissenting vote. “I can’t support this,” she said. “Not that I don’t think Scott is doing a good job, I do. I don’t think we can afford it.”
The contract will last through Dec. 31, 2022. Sellers began working for the city in 2017.
In addition to a base salary of $196,503.20, Sellers will receive the same annual increase budgeted to other city employees. He will also receive the same benefits as other municipal workers and be reimbursed for “reasonable expenses” including “gasoline, hotels and accommodations, meals, rental cars and other expenses incurred in the performance of the business of the city.”
Sellers will also see his retirement benefits increase to from $5,000 annually to 21 percent of his salary, or $15,000 per year.
The retirement benefit was that item that compelled Tenorio’s vote, she said during the meeting.
“I’m struggling,” she said. “The majority of citizens in Kyle don’t make that (Sellers’ salary).” Instead, she pointed out, most workers actually have retirement benefits deducted from their paychecks. “Ultimately the people who pay the salary pay the taxes,” she said.
Other council members felt differently.
District 3 Council member Robert Rizo said he thinks the contract is a great one. “Y’all are lucky to have him. I’m glad we have him and glad we were able to negotiate a good contract,” he said, adding that Sellers made “several concessions” over the course of the negotiations.
“I can understand Councilmember Tenorio’s concerns but he is starting out with the same salary as in the last contract,” District 4 Council member Alex Villalobos said. He noted that longevity is rare among city managers even though having a long-standing manager is helpful to cities with certain projects like infrastructure. “We’re looking at today and the future as well,” he said.