Gonzalez starts as city manager

Gonzalez starts as city manager

POSTED: Monday, June 23, 2014 - 10:27pm

UPDATED: Monday, June 23, 2014 - 10:34pm

Talks about immediate goals for city budget, economy

It will be a busy first 30 days in office for new city manager Tommy Gonzalez.

He had his first day on the job Monday, and having already met with city council and area leaders, Gonzalez now hopes to meet with all department heads within the next month as they work towards completing a budget for the next fiscal year.

"I think we have a great staff, and I think we just want to make sure we just work on processes and systems to support them and put them in the best position to succeed," Gonzalez told reporters.

Among his first goals, Gonzalez hopes to bring in more revenue to help communities he says may feel overlooked, as well as work on department realignment.

The job market is also another concern for Gonzalez, he said.

El Paso's unemployment rate is improving, and the city manager hopes to lower it further.

Yet part of his strategy plan is to continue to entice companies to come to El Paso using our unemployment rate as a selling point.

"And sometimes what you think is a weakness is actually a strength. We talk a lot about the unemployment rate in El Paso, and I think that's a strength because you can show that we have people ready to work."

El Paso's unemployment rate is at 7.3 percent for May, and with the exception of April's 7.2 percent, the metro area hasn't seen a rate as low since December 2008.

El Paso still falls far behind the state average of 5.1 percent.

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