POSTED: Tuesday, December 11, 2012 - 7:59pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, December 12, 2012 - 1:05pm
Will Finish Contract, Leave Job at end of Cook Term
EL PASO — City Manager Joyce Wilson issued a written statement today, to publicly apologize she says, for having "created an unfortunate distraction from the important work of the city".
Mayor Cook was a little more direct in open council, calling the situation "an e-mail debacle"
The controversy concerns a series of emails by Wilson during the debate over building a downtown baseball stadium. In one email Wilson calls opponents of the baseball stadium "crazies". In another she targets the mayor, writing that "he made a big mistake" by not understanding options for funding the stadium. And in perhaps the most personal email, Wilson, during a council meeting, sent a message across the room to representative Courtney Niland. In that message she wrote that representatives Carl Robinson, and Ann Morgan Lilly "have the beginnings of dementia" by failing to understand the baseball park issue.
That led Robinson recently to call for Wilson's resignation. She didn't resign, but council moved up her scheduled performance review and held it today in executive session..
The mayor emerged from that meeting and told Newschannel 9, "I think we all learned a lesson from this, that be careful what you put in writing because it can and probably will be used against you, maybe not in a court of law but in the court of public opinion..so I think everybody's learned lesson from it."
Given a chance to speak publicly to council, Wilson told them, "I want to thank all of you on council for your affirmation and support and your constructive critique of things we need to address within the organization and whichI I need to address personally."
Represetnatve Lilly didn't make herself available for comment...Representative Robinson got his first look at Wilson's written apology when we handed it to him after the meeting. He asked for more time to assess it before commenting. But when asked if the apology represents water under the bridge, Robinson quickly responded "not exactly" The matter will be over, he says, when the city manager responds not with a general statement but to specific emails she has written.