EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – After Tuesday’s vote by the El Paso City Council to terminate City Manager Tommy Gonzalez’s contract, former representatives are now speaking out.
Claudia Rodriguez was on City Council from February 2020 until January of 2023. She says that during her tenure, the council had a good working relationship with Gonzalez and was shocked about the decision to end his contract.
Late last year Rodriguez spearheaded the campaign to cap the city manager’s salary along with the extension but felt like the city was keeping a great employee. However, in her opinion she says the new members of council were irresponsible to decide the future of Gonzalez since they have not been there long enough.
“I don’t think that the new City Council have been there long enough to be able to make those types of decisions. They’ve never even evaluated the city manager. To me on the outside looking in, it just feels like it was politically motivated.”
The current representative for District 7, Henry Rivera, says that council did not know what they were going to vote on before Tuesday’s meeting. He says this will cost taxpayers’ money but it will also hinder businesses from investing in El Paso.
“We’re looking at possibly potential investors looking at El Paso who want to open businesses and stuff and other venues might not come here because they see the dysfunction that’s taking place,” Rivera said.
District 5 Rep. Isabel Salcido was also disappointed in the process of removing Tommy Gonzalez as city manager. While she does respect how other members of council voted, she is worried about the future of the position.
“I’m afraid it’s going to deter or scare any potential talent that wants to apply for this job because what they’re looking at as a body that did not follow process and is not very transparent,” Salcido said.
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