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Joyce Wilson begins contract negotiations for new job in Florida

Tuesday, June 11, 2013 - 11:27pm

El Paso City Manager Joyce Wilson has one foot out the door.

She has been selected as Lee County, Florida's top pick for the county manager position. Commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday morning to begin contract negotiations with her.

"Good riddance," said John Pearson from Northeast El Paso.

"I know the whole city is very much going to miss her but we all wish her very well and we hope we can have as good as successor for the City of El Paso," said Connie Spence from Central El Paso.

"Frankly, this is the first job interview I've had since I've had this job interview, which was a surprise but was kind of flattering," said Wilson.

Wilson remained tight-lipped in El Paso today about the details of her possible move, but hinted she may very well take the job in Lee County.

She could possibly start the new job as soon as August, although her contract with the City of El Paso doesn't end until September 2014.

"At some point, I'm going to leave here, whether it's now or a year from now when my contract expires. And so, this is an opportunity that I'm moving forward to continue to pursue," said Wilson.

"Some of these opportunities don't come by that often, especially as we get older, and so I wish her well and a lot of success," said El Paso City Representative Emma Acosta.

Acosta says if and when Wilson decides to leave the Sun City for Florida, it'll be back to business as usual at City Hall.

"Kind of like, speed up the process that we were going to have to initiate anyway," said Acosta.

Wilson has been under intense scrutiny in El Paso ever since a series of her emails went public, in which she insulted other colleagues.

One commissioner in Lee County says it's not enough for them to change their minds.

"Depending on where you come from- it's a little overwhelming for any individual- and instead of focusing on the 100 positive things, everyone seemed to focus on the one issue that dealt with emails where there are obviously other elected officials involved," said Tammy Hall, from Lee County.

Wilson told reporters in Florida she's willing to take a lower salary for the county manager position there. The last permanent county manager in Lee County made about $190,000. Wilson earns about $239,000 in El Paso.

If Wilson accepts the position in Florida, an interim city manager will be appointed in El Paso until a permanent replacement can be found.

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