As expected, the City Council voted overwhelmingly late Tuesday to approve a contract for the new city manager that will make him the highest paid employee in the city's history.
John Shirey is scheduled to start Sept. 1 and will earn roughly $306,000 in salary and benefits. His base salary of $258,000 is the highest of any city manager in the region and is equal to Sacramento County Executive Brad Hudson.
The council approved a three-year contract for Shirey by a 7-2 vote. It's the first time Sacramento's city manager has been under contract.
Council members Sandy Sheedy, Steve Cohn, Rob Fong, Jay Schenirer, Kevin McCarty, Darrell Fong and Bonnie Pannell voted to approve the contract, and Mayor Kevin Johnson and Councilwoman Angelique Ashby voted against the deal.
Shirey will pay 7 percent of his salary into his CalPERS pension.
He also has a clause in the contract that allows him to resign and receive a six-month severance should Sacramento adopt a "strong mayor" form of government that transfers most of the duties now held by the city manager to the mayor. Johnson is expected to push for that change next year.