A.C. Gonzalez' $400,000 Salary Makes Him the Highest-Paid City Manager in the Country

Categories: City Hall

ac-gonzalez.jpg
The Dallas City Council sealed the deal today with newly minted City Manager A.C. Gonzalez, approving his employment contract.

The main thing you need to know about the deal is that it's a big one: $400,000 per year in base salary, plus benefits not enumerated in City Attorney Warren Ernst's brief summary of the document before the City Council.

For those of you keeping track, that's more than the $305,000 made by predecessor Mary Suhm. It's more than the $250,000 Gonzalez made as interim city manager. And it's more than any other city manager in the country.

Phoenix, the largest city with a council-manager form of government, was paying its chief executive $315,000 before he decamped last year for Santa Ana, California, which matched that pay rate.

San Antonio, the nation's second largest council-manager city and the only other with a population larger than Dallas, gives its city manager $355,000 $375,000. (The city just gave its city manager a raise; her salary will increase to $400,000 next year.)

The figures decrease from there. San Jose's city manager makes $250,000, Austin's $256,746. Fort Worth pays $233,393, Charlotte $245,000, El Paso $238,960, and Las Vegas $177,975.

A handful of council members -- Vonciel Hill, Rick Callahan, Sandy Greyson, and Adam Medrano -- expressed reservations about such a humongous salary.

Hill speculated that the city manager search committee arrived at the $400,000 figure through a comparative analysis of recent city-manager hires, a comparison she referred to as "false."

See also: A.C. Gonzalez is Dallas' New City Manager

"I believe that this salary should stand on its own bottom," she said. It should have been $350,000, tops.

Others disagreed. "You've got 15 council members, you've got a huge city -- I think we're the fifth largest city in the country (we're actually ninth), you've got a lot of responsibilities," Councilwoman Carolyn Davis said, defending Gonzalez' salary and pointing out that CEOs in the corporate world make "way way, way way more."

"If we're continuing to talk about a first-class, world-class city, we need to put our money where our mouth is at," she concluded.

See also: Hey, A.C. Gonzalez: Forget "Transparency." Here's a Tougher Challenge.

Sheffie Kadane said $400,000 is "a small amount [compared] to the amount you'll bring to our city."

But it was up to Dwaine Caraway to offer the fullest defense of the salary hike. He compared Gonzalez to Kobe Bryant in the sense that both are on the top of their respective games. He then compared Dallas to the New York Yankees.

"Look at the New York Yankees: you know the New York Yankees went after the best players, and you have to pay the best players," he said, adding, "We can either play ball or we can sit on the sidelines. We're looking for a championship."

Don't even try to argue with reasoning like that. You can't.

Ac Gonzalez Contract Final

Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.


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43 comments
EA3
EA3

If what you say here is true, then why did KERA's public radio say that his salary is around the midpoint of city manager's pay in the U. S.?

ozonelarryb
ozonelarryb topcommenter

Is that enough so he won't need bribes? Or will he slut himself out, without asking for consideration?

MisterMean
MisterMean

Dallas-business as usual. What a pile.

greg.busby214
greg.busby214

It's so comforting to know we have Former Mayor Dwaine to put complex issues like this one into a perspective we the great unwashed can understand.  I assume there's a no-sagging addendum in that contract somewhere.

zqpm
zqpm

What a classy way for the Dallas City Council to give the citizens of Dallas the middle finger. DCC knew that most citizens did not want more of the same with AC but for them to go out and bring in someone outside the corrupt confines of Dallas City Council yet they not only vote him in, but pay him the highest salary in the country.


Dallas Citizens - This was a big F- You from the Council!!! 

Pete_Delkus_Sleeves
Pete_Delkus_Sleeves

Speaking of overpaid, hehehehe how about the weather guys, who even at 6:45 this morning were saying only a dusting and we are now at 1"

lecterman
lecterman

We should have hire A.C. Slater instead

Anon
Anon

Article V is great fun once you decode it. Dues for a dining facility? Betcha that's for membership in the most exclusive country club or other highly exclusive club in the area.

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

Please explain to Mr. Caraway that the Rangers beat the Yankees with a much much smaller payroll.


I guess that we now know who on the Council were Mr. Gonzales's supporters.

WylieH
WylieH

As I read the summary if the new contract, it appears that the City of Dallas, under Rawlings' watch, just became (perhaps) the first municipal dictatorship in the U.S.

So long as Gonzalez keeps only 6 of the 15 Council Members/Mayor from being completely agitated, he's in for life. What possible incentive does he have to do anything for the residents of Dallas? I honestly can't think of any.

casiepierce
casiepierce

I'm confused. Phoenix is the largest city with a council-manager system and San Antonio is the second-largest, yet the only city larger than Dallas? Huh?

wesmac01
wesmac01

The voters elected the city council that hired this clown and gave him this obscene salary. The voters have the ability to correct this mistake, but will they do it? My money says that voters in Dallas are too lazy and too apathetic to do anything about it.

P1Gunter
P1Gunter

They might has of hired A.C. Slater. Screech would have been a great public servant.

ChrisYu
ChrisYu

screw the cynics A.C. and get you that Dallas vanity plate.

ColonelAngus
ColonelAngus

" plus benefits not enumerated in City Attorney Warren Ernst's brief summary" 


No doubt this includes immediate vesting in a six-figure, taxpayer-funded lifetime pension, irrespective of how long he remains in the position.

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

Probably cheaper than paying for the fallout from a tell-all if they didn't hire him at his terms.

Voot
Voot

I don't know, this could work. Give him a year to make Dallas into the World Class City we always keep hearing about, and if he fails, at the following vernal equinox sacrifice him on a giant block of granite at noon in the middle of City Hall Plaza and license the video rights world wide instead.

tdkisok
tdkisok

**Face in hands**


Dear God, I hope he earns it......legally.

James080
James080

If you have ever wondered why the City of Dallas spends so much money and seems to get so little return, consider the mindset of the council. They seem to believe that overpaying AC Gonzalez validates their decision to hire him. 

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

This makes Suhm look like a cheap whore.  Like monte said, it took some extra walking around money to make this one work

dallasdrilling.wordpress.com
dallasdrilling.wordpress.com

"If we're continuing to talk about a first-class, world-class city, we need to put our money where our mouth is at," she concluded.

...........and then they swallowed

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

proving that crime DOES pay...

WhyDontYouJoinNAMBLA
WhyDontYouJoinNAMBLA

Wow... nearly half a million a year for being a corrupt hack. Must be nice. Where are the Occupy Marilla Street protesters? 

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

I guess $400K is how much it takes to keep secrets secret.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@casiepierce

yes, worded a bit clumsily. what I believe Eric's saying is Phoenix has the largest pop, and San Antonio is the only city other than Phoenix which is larger than Dallas. so we're no. 3!

WhyDontYouJoinNAMBLA
WhyDontYouJoinNAMBLA

@wesmac01  Except he's an unelected bureaucrat.


The city council doesn't give a fuck about voters. They are term limited and not elected city wide. 


And it's not like they can pay the next unelected hack LESS now. 

A-nony-mouse
A-nony-mouse

@ColonelAngus With 15 years of service, he's already vested in the city Employee Retirement Fund, which bases pensions off of the three highest paid years. So if A.C. makes it three years as city manager (at 400k per year) his then 18 years of service would allow him to have a pension of 198k per year.

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@James080  

*ha ha ha*

See, we told you he was great - after all, he makes $400k per year!

James080
James080

@mavdog  

Looks like smooching 15 fat butts paid off in the end....

wesmac01
wesmac01

@WhyDontYouJoinNAMBLA @wesmac01  Mary Suhm and Tom Perkins were also "unelected bureaucrats", and they are no longer the City Manager and City Attorney, respectively. Gonzales does not have a lifetime contract, and any future city council could opt to terminate it. I say give him the $200K now and send him on his way before he does more damage.


I wish I had been involved in the fracking fight that just got done. Citizens proved that we can take on the power establishment and win, so we need to learn a lesson from that and get in this fight now. Also, the salary of any city employee can be modified at any time the city council decides to do it. Perhaps they will not do it, but they do have the authority to do it.

ColonelAngus
ColonelAngus

@A-nony-mouse @ColonelAngus I will defer to you and stipulate that the structure you listed is accurate.  But the "benefits not enumerated" verbiage indicates a sweeter deal than they wish to disclose.  Remember Hinojosa?  Different job, but he got $200K+ for life after six years on the job.  I will bet you a six-pack that this is a similar sweetheart deal.


http://www.dallasnews.com/news/education/headlines/20140204-former-dallas-isd-superintendent-leaves-job-in-atlanta-area-will-return-to-dallas.ece?nclick_check=1



TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@James080 @mavdog  

Lessee . . . *scratch scratch* . . .  carry the 1 . . . round up . . . That's roughly $26,667.00 per butt.

Huh . . . When you look at it that way, it seems like Dallas may have gotten a real bargain.

WylieH
WylieH

@wesmac01 @WhyDontYouJoinNAMBLAAs a part of the new contract, the City Council has made it effectively impossible to terminate him.  Even if the majority of Council and Mayor want him gone, they can't do anything about it; a "super-majority" is required.  That will never happen... ever.

WhyDontYouJoinNAMBLA
WhyDontYouJoinNAMBLA

@wesmac01 @WhyDontYouJoinNAMBLA  Good luck getting anyone but moronic blacks in "the Southern sector" that will give a shit about this.


As for the salary, you really think there is going to be some altruistic non-lifetime bureaucrat that comes along and says "Hey sure, I will do the job for less!"? 


No, the benchmark is set.

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