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El Paso City Council Releases City Manager and City Attorney Evaluations

The City Council released the performance evaluations for both City Manager Tommy Gonzalez and City Attorney Karla Nieman.

According to the El Paso Charter both the City Manager and City Attorney report to the nine (9) City Council members. In June of each year the City Council evaluates the performance of their two employees in accordance with each employee’s respective employment agreement and within the applicable laws.

This year both Mr. Gonzalez’s and Ms. Nieman’s evaluations exceeded standards for the evaluation year encompassing June 2021 to June 2022.

The Council’s final comments for the City Manager stated Mr. Gonzalez, “continues to meet and exceed expectations on all three categories: Citywide Goals, Core Values, and Leadership Assessment. Mr. Gonzalez is a results-oriented, strategic leader and has remained steadfast in delivering exceptional performance and results for the City financially, operationally, and developmentally, in spite of unprecedented challenges.

“Mr. Gonzalez is creative and resourceful in addressing the issues the City has faced. He faces challenges and commits to resolving matters professionally and promptly,” the evaluation said. “He has strengthened the City’s leadership team and is committed to their professional development. His evaluation score of 3.63 (with 4 being the highest score) reflects the Council’s evaluation of his performance as exceeding expectations. The Council looks forward to another year working with Mr. Gonzalez.”

The Council stated that Ms. Nieman, “has effectively ensured that the City’s interests in utility matters and other significant litigation were well represented and positive outcomes were achieved for the benefit of the citizens of El Paso.”

Ms. Nieman, who received an evaluation score of 4.28 (with 5 being the highest score), reflects the Council’s evaluation of her performance as highly effective.

Ms. Nieman on behalf of the City, filed testimony asserting that El Paso-based customers were effectively subsidizing costs incurred by gas utilities in other parts of Texas more severely impacted by Winter Storm Uri. The legal settlement resulted in El Pasoans only have to pay about a third of the original proposal, resulting in $196 million dollars in savings to the ratepayers.

Both Mr. Gonzalez’s and Ms. Nieman’s employment agreements require that their evaluation process be handled in closed session and shall be considered confidential to the maximum and full extent permitted by law. The Texas Open Meetings Act provides that the evaluation of employee performance be handled in executive session unless the employee chooses for their evaluation to be handled in open session. The City of El Paso engages outside legal counsel to assist with this process and ensure contractual and legal compliance.

The two employees do not receive separate evaluations from each representative, rather, the Council works together to develop a single evaluation to provide a collective performance assessment of the individual’s performance for the previous year and goals for the next year, After discussion with each employee, the evaluation is finalized and signed by the employee and the Mayor, as directed and representative of the Council.

The complete evaluations are subject to release pursuant to the Texas Public Information Act. For efficiency purposes, the City has posted the two evaluations on the City’s Public Information Center’s Proactive website, list here:

https://elpaso.govqa.us/webapp/_rs/(S(21tdoh4moxqpo0emax5t3mws))/supporthome.aspx

For more information about the El Paso City Charter visit elpasotexas.gov/charter or the El Paso Open Records Request Process, visit elpasotexas.gov/city-attorney/

 

 

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