Wilson to serve as City consultant, will forego month's salary

Wilson to serve as City consultant, will forego month's salary

POSTED: Tuesday, June 10, 2014 - 12:06pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - 1:13pm

Outgoing City Manager Joyce Wilson will serve as a temporary consultant to both the new and interim city managers, per an amendment to her contract approved by El Paso City Council Tuesday.

Under the agreement, Wilson, whose contract was set to expire on September 30, will now stay on until September 3, saving the City a month's worth of her salary, roughly $20,000.

Wilson needed to have her contract amended in order to accept a position as the interim CEO of Workforce Solutions: Upper Rio Grande.

Before Tuesday’s vote, Mayor Oscar Leeser wanted to make sure that the City would remain Wilson’s top priority during the remainder of her contract.

“I think it’s really important that her main responsibility is still as a consultant to the City,” Leeser said. “I think it’s important that we have a smooth transition. 

Wilson, seated in the audience, nodded her head in agreement.

Several members of the council took issue with the contract changes, including District 7 Representative Lily Limón.

Limón expressed concern that Wilson would continue to receive full-time City benefits while also working for another organization. She also questioned whether Wilson would be able to handle the split workload.

“You can never serve two masters and do it well,” Limón said.

District 3 Representative Emma Acosta, a former consultant herself, pointed out that consultants often have multiple employers.

“I think Ms. Wilson can do both jobs,” Acosta said. “I think it’s important we keep that institutional knowledge for the new city manager as long as we can.”

District 2 Representative Larry Romero suggested Wilson be released from her City contract altogether to save money on her salary and avoid questions of her commitment. 

Wilson took issue with that, citing her City pension.

“I’m here in good faith,” Wilson said at the podium. “But I’m not going to harm myself financially after 10 years of being vested, and I don’t think you would either.”

Wilson told the representatives that she has already been working closely with Interim City Manager Sean McGlynn. Tommy Gonzalez, who the council selected to be the new city manager, has yet to arrive in El Paso.

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