Erik Walsh, San Antonio’s new city manager, needs to be a man of the people — especially since he works for them.
Appointed by City Council to replace his outgoing boss, Sheryl Sculley, the former deputy city manager occupies the lead administrative position in municipal government. He becomes the top civil servant for the nation’s seventh-largest metropolis.
Part of Sculley’s public image is the perception she acted the role of an overly compensated, imperious bureaucrat holding court in a downtown fiefdom.
True or not, it can be argued a waning appreciation for Sculley is one reason voters recently passed a proposition limiting any future city manager’s pay and time on the job to eight years.
The citizens have spoken, and Walsh must pay attention. Having the support of the business community isn’t enough. He needs the populace in general to know he’s open to ideas and strategies originating outside City Hall. As goes San Antonio, so do the surrounding towns.
Like Mister Rogers, Walsh should always remember to ask, “Won’t you be my neighbor?”