A deeper look at El Paso City Manager Tommy Gonzalez’ new contract

El Paso News

El Paso Mayor Dee Margo said despite what you may have heard from other media outlets, the contract for City Manager Tommy Gonzalez, which was approved Tuesday does not include a hefty raise.

Margo said his salary will remain the same amount reflected in his current contract, which is about $330,000 per year.

It will be a 5 year agreement going into effect when the current one is up, which is June 2019.

Margo said the only thing council did add was life insurance, disability coverage and a benefit to Gonzalez’s pension contributions.

“What was released was improper and very disappointing,” Margo said of details that were leaked to other media outlets earlier this week. “Frankly, it should have never been released. It was in closed discussions and was still in negotiations back and forth.”

KTSM asked the City of El Paso to give us a list of cities they use to decide whether his pay is fair to taxpayers.

Some in Texas, two are in Arizona and one is in Oklahoma. The highest city manager salary is in San Antonio at $425,000 and the lowest is Tucson at $225,000. 

If we focus on those two and do the math, the median salary for a city manager in these comparable cities is $325,000, $5,000 less than what Gonzalez earns. 

Gonzalez was given a 5 percent raise in August following his most recent employee evaluation, however his contract does state he is eligible for 5 percent raise annually.

Now Margo says he plans to look into who may have leaked the proposed contract, because he feels the leak was done with a lack of integrity from someone within the walls of City Hall.

Meanwhile, a local grassroots coalition is gathering signatures to recall six of the city representatives and Mayor Dee Margo, accusing them of mismanagement and abuse of authority. 

The targets of the petition, along with Margo are Reps. Peter Svarzbein,  Sam Morgan, Michiel Noe, Claudia Ordaz-Perez, Henry Rivera and Cissy Lizarraga. None have issued statements in their defense, so far. 

The two reps left off the recall effort are Alexsandra Annello and Cassandra Hernandez, who voted against the new contract for Gonzalez. 

The recall effort, being spearheaded by a group calling itself the El Paso Grassroots Coalition. The group’s chairman, Sam Williams, was a recent write-in candidate for Congress after missing the deadline to be on the official ballot.

In a news release, the coalition didn’t elaborate on the charges against the council members. Instead it only asked that they resign immediately. 

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