A Small-Town Texas City Manager Paid $1.1 Million Before Retiring (2019-2020)

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In 2020, Clayton Chandler, the city manager of Mansfield, Texas, retired after 36 years. In his final two years, Chandler collected $1.1 million in cash compensation payouts.

Chandler’s final year, in 2020, was the most lucrative, as he collected $815,144.


That is an enormous payout for managing a city of over 70,000 people. Mansfield is in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area.

Here’s how the big 2020 payout breaks down, per a city spokesperson:

  • $284,754 from 12 months of regular pay in a buyout as per his retirement agreement;
  • $383,067.03 from accrued vacation, sick, holiday leave and longevity pay;
  • $132,519.91 regular pay that accrued up to that point;
  • $5,476.04 in holiday pay;
  • $3,285.62 in incentive pay;
  • and $6,040.98 from taxable insurance.

In 2019, Chandler earned $284,753, which was up from $260,589 in 2017. Between 2017 and 2020, Chandler made $1.63 million in cash compensation before retirement.

Although surprising, other Texas city managers also have a recent history of cashing out.

For example, as showcased by Forbes, Horacio De Leon, Jr., city manager of Laredo Texas, was hired for the position in summer 2017. In 2018, he made $314,556. In 2019 – only 20 months after hiring him – the city council and De Leon parted ways. De Leon collected $880,483 in an all-inclusive payout.

That included $569,082 in severance pay; $192,790 for lump sum vacation and sick leave; $76,319 for his regular hours; $23,269 in deferred compensation 457 employer-contribution; $9,288 in holiday pay; $4,984 for a vehicle allowance; $4,128 for annual leave payment; and $623 for a cell phone allowance.

Just two years earlier, the City of Laredo ended its contract with their previous city manager. In 2017, Jesus Olivares received $651,867 by virtue of his compensation package.

The Laredo’s current population is 322,000 and both men will receive taxpayer-funded lifetime health insurance coverage.

Everything is bigger in Texas – even instances of waste and taxpayer abuse.

The #WasteOfTheDay is presented by the forensic auditors at OpenTheBooks.com.

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