Council considers revealing City Manager salary

LAREDO, TX (KGNS) - Once again, discussions on the search for the future City Manager take the floor at City Hall.

The council and committee are hoping to get more applicants to throw their names in the hat for the position, such as revealing the possible salary amount, however some say that the salary should be decided at a later time.

"I think we should attach a substantial dollar amount that is proportional to the caliber of the individual who we are trying to attract," said Councilman George Altgelt.

The position has been vacant since January.

He included, "I’m just thinking of the range as a means of getting more applicants.”

But so far, the pay has not been determined, according to the chairman for the City Manager Search Committee, Gerry Schwebel.

"We have not had any discussion in our committee," Schwebel said.

Schwebel says candidates with several years of experience under their belts is what catches the committee's eye.

"Our focus has been trying to look at the basic qualifications, which is in essence seven years of municipal government experience."

A member of the committee says coming up with a number right now isn't a good idea.

"I don't think we are at that point yet,” said Ana Benavides-Galo, member of the City Manager Search Committee. “I think once we interview who's decided, we're going to interview all the candidates. We are hoping to get more."

The idea of an alternative compensation plan was mentioned by an additional member.

"You all probably need to look at a pay for performance,” said Ivan Rodriguez, another member of the committee. “It's pressure that you better perform, or it's pressure that if you perform this is what you are going to get."

However Councilmember Marte Martinez says posting a number could work against the City.

"The minute you start putting a base line or a maximum, they are going to go for the baseline or the maximum immediately."

Councilman Albert Torres also stood behind Galo's advice.

"I'm going to respect the opinion of my appointee to this committee as far as us not listing a number."

In the end, their decision was only to make sure the opening highlights the description that quote, "The City offers a very competitive salary and benefits package."

No significant changes were made about the search process during the meeting. The applications will be closed on December 31st, and the interviews will be held until 2020.

The committee also mentioned applicants were asked about their previous pay scale at their last or current position in order to help with the process in the future.