Council re-ups Gonzalez as El Paso city manager minus controversial ‘perks’

El Paso News
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It took hours of closed-door discussions, but El Paso City Council on Tuesday agreed to once again appoint Tommy Gonzalez as El Paso’s city manager.

And city officials said despite media reports citing leaked documents, his new contract does not include a hefty pay raise or a slew of other perks. 

“There is no increase in salary,” a frustrated Mayor Dee Margo told those gathered at the council meeting. “The contract will be for five years with two year extensions.”

Margo took issue with leaked city paperwork detailing a deal between the city and Gonzalez that never came to fruition.

“All those other things that were, unfortunately, released to the public are not in there,” Margo said.

Gonzalez was hired in 2014. His current base salary is roughly $330,000 per year. The mayor said though there is no change in salary, Gonzalez’s new contract does make adjustments to his retirement and disability and health benefits. 

Tuesday’s vote was 6-2 with representatives Alexsandra Annello and Cassandra Hernandez voting against the deal. 

Hernandez—who wanted to postpone the vote—said she worried the negotiations were hurried. 

“I just think it’s really unfortunate how all of this was rushed and at the final hour,” Hernandez said. “I feel like we could have had an open and honest conversation in three weeks without any risk.”

In other action, the council unanimously approved a contract for newly-appointed City Attorney Karla Nieman. She takes over for Sylvia Borunda Firth whose sudden retirement sparked controversy last spring.

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