EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Today the City Council approved to override the veto and authorized to extend the City Manager Tommy Gonzalez’s contract for five years, until 2029.
“I am humbled by the council’s confidence in the leadership team we have developed within our organization. I remain committed to the City of El Paso, our organization, and our workforce. We have much more to do and we have the team to execute the priorities for our community,” Gonzalez said.
El Paso City’s Major Oscar Leeser had previously vetoed the contract extension twice. Some of the reasons he gave for vetoing the Council’s decision were there is plenty of time remaining in Gonzalez’ actual contract added by his extensive salary.
“Taking a veto action is not something I take lightly. I did so thoughtfully and taking all issues into account. I did not – and still do not – believe that it is sound government or sound management to extend any employee contract prematurely and unnecessarily. The feedback I received from the community overwhelmingly supported my veto. That said, the vote has been taken and it is time to continue to move El Paso forward.”Oscar Leeser, Mayor
Under Gonzalez’s, the City of El Paso has achieved $227 million in cost savings. Gonzalez has further strengthened El Paso’s financial stability by eliminating a $7.8 million General Fund deficit in 2014; eliminating a $27 million operating deficit in the mass transit department; eliminating an annual $1 million operating deficit at the City golf course; tripling the fund balance by increasing it by more than $73 million; captured State sales taxes for downtown hotels revitalization; and leading the City of El Paso team to achieve zero audit findings for six consecutive years. The City now provides year-end reporting to the City Council and has had seven consecutive years of General Fund surplus—all leading to maintaining the city’s double AA financial rating.
In 2022, Mr. Gonzalez earned the National Malcolm Baldrige Foundation E. David Spong Lifetime Leadership Achievement Award. The E. David Spong Lifetime Achievement Award is the highest honor the Baldrige Foundation bestows on an individual to recognize truly extraordinary service that has changed the world and has inspired others to do the same.
Gonzalez was awarded the 2019 Baldrige Foundation Leadership Excellence Award in the Government sector by the Malcom Baldrige Foundation and the 2019 United States-Mexico Chamber of Commerce Border City Leadership Award. In June 2021, Gonzalez again made history, receiving an unprecedented and history-making invitation to serve a third term as chair of the Quality Texas Foundation Board of Directors.
Gonzalez retired as a Lieutenant Colonel after serving 22 years in the U.S. Army. He holds a Master of Public Administration degree from Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, and a Bachelor of Science degree from Eastern New Mexico University in Portales, New Mexico. He is a certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt from the University of Texas in Austin.