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Home | Tag Archives: tommy gonzalez

Tag Archives: tommy gonzalez

City Manager Gonzalez honored with leadership award by US/Mexico Chamber of Commerce

City Manager Tommy Gonzalez received the Border City Leadership Award from the United States-Mexico Chamber of Commerce.

The Chamber’s Binational Board of Directors selected Gonzalez for the dynamic economic development that El Paso has experienced in recent years, which has improved job growth and wage increases, while at the same time maintaining healthy public finances.

Furthermore, the board recognized the City’s ongoing partnerships with Mexican public and private sector entities that make the El Paso-Juarez region a top trade location in North America.

“This award underscores how the City El Paso is successfully tackling the border community’s unique challenges in order to deliver notable services and projects to our region,” said Mayor Dee Margo.

“The City of El Paso, along with its sister city Ciudad Juárez, has cultivated a group of remarkable leaders like City Manager Tommy Gonzalez that are making the border region resilient and able to overcome a multitude of challenges like unfunded state and federal mandates,” said Albert C. Zapanta, President and Chief Executive Officer for the United States-Mexico Chamber of Commerce.

The City of El Paso has obtained $64 million in savings and efficiencies over the last several years and established $69 million in new revenue sources—to include $32 million in state funding for International Bridges Intelligent Transportation projects.

Furthermore, the City has experienced more than $1.07 billion in new capital investments added over the last several years; created and retained more than 11,500 jobs; ranking second nationwide in top employment; maintained a AA bond rating; increased the fund balanced for the last four fiscal years; and reported zero findings in its annual financial audit for the third year in a row.

The United States-Mexico Chamber of Commerce is the leading binational business organization working to build mutually beneficial trade and investment relationships in the Americas.

The organization’s mission is to promote business between the United States and Mexico. For more information about the chamber, click here.

Audio+Story: Group Begins Petition Process to Eliminate City Manager’s Job

“He doesn’t do anything, nothing,” says Maria. “All he wants is money, money and more money.”

“Isn’t he the guy that was saying a few years back that if he didn’t get a raise or something his wife was going to leave him, or he was going to move out of town…man, he makes all the decisions. He’s like a king up there,” says Troy.

“I don’t know,” says Elsa, “but we could use what he makes as pay for a year to do many other things in El Paso. He needs to be away from here.”

That’s residents giving their opinion of one particular city employee: Tommy Gonzalez, City Manager for El Paso.

Virtually from day one, Gonzalez’s performance – and his very position – have been a lightning rod for residents.  From his salary, to the specifics of his contract, to the decisions he has made, no other city position has drawn as much attention or ire as the City Manager’s seat.

Fed up with what he considers a lack of dedication to the residents of El Paso, one resident has taken action to remove Gonzalez’s job from the City of El Paso’s line up.


When I covered the various events surrounding President Trump’s visit to El Paso, I shadowed Sam Williams – who ran as the independent candidate for the 16th Congressional District – and now was collecting signatures to do just that.

As I followed Williams around the crowd awaiting the President’s rally, the opinion of everyone I spoke to was that Gonzalez must go.  Mr. Williams was there collecting signatures to do just that.

To assist in that task, Williams has founded the El Paso Grassroots Coalition,  a federally- recognized Political Action Committee (PAC)

“We started the El Paso Grassroots Coalition as an independent body to get people elected that actually care about the City of El Paso and the needs of El Paso,” said Williams. “The problem that we’ve seen so far and lately is that most of our representation that we elect doesn’t represent the people, they wind up representing some type of business or special interest group. That’s evident by some of the projects that the city’s done recently. They don’t really benefit the citizen, even though they call it a quality of life project.”

In 2004 the City of El Paso amended the City Charter in order to create the Office of City Manager and to have a City Manager run the city, essentially removing day-to-day management from City Council.

“Well, the problem is that we’ve had two city managers in El Paso already and it’s, it’s been a massive failure for the city,” Williams shares.


So, what is the function of a city manager?

According to, a city manager is responsible for directing a variety of administrative processes that allow a city to operate. It is their job to implement and oversee policies crafted by city council. They are also responsible for documenting and presenting the city budget as well as interfacing with the community to develop new programs.

Williams – and many others – feel these roles have been reversed.

“You know, for the citizens of El Paso, it’s costing us a lot of money to have this office,” Williams began. “Now a city manager government works well if you have somebody that has a vested interest in the community, that really cares about what is happening and how the people respond to what projects are being done. And what I’ve seen so far is that our Mayor, City Council have given all of their power to the City Manager. That’s not the way it is to the City Managers supposed to answer to the Council and the Mayor. But when you watch what’s happening at the City Council meetings, they answer to the City Manager.”

The newest contract for Tommy Gonzalez pays him just over $350,000 per year, pay increases of five per cent per year and a $6,000 annual car allowance. Additionally, the City of El Paso will be paying for an Executive Health Exam for Mr. Gonzalez.

The last pay increase for Mr. Gonzalez was in August of last year when his salary was raised to just over $330,000.  The rate of pay Gonzalez is receiving is supposed to be based on a comparison made of other cities who employ a City Manager.

As for the pay rate, the cities used for comparison were (with their population in parentheses) Austin (790,390), Phoenix (4.19 million in the metro area), Tucson (520,116), Oklahoma City (579,999) and San Antonio (1.8 million).


Going into this story, I was advised by several people that I would not hear back from Mr. Gonzalez or any member of his staff.

I did reach out to Gonzalez for comment. His only direct communication to me was a Dear Constituent letter.

My next email was to Laura Cruz-Acosta, with the City of El Paso. I was told I must direct any media inquiries to her. After asking, I verified my deadline, and then never heard back from her, or anyone connected to the City Manager’s office.

By deadline on Friday, I had not had any response from the City Manager’s office


“If the guy does a bad job, you can’t fire him,” says Williams, speaking of one of the many benefits of the new contract. “We don’t have any say; we had no say in this contract. When one of the councilmen leaked it, you know, it got it out. It made people aware of what was going on at City Council level and what they were doing.”

“We need to cap public salaries, and we can base this off of, especially for executive level, base it on the federal pay scale for level three executive schedule. Cap it on that, and that’s it,” says Williams. “Tie any pay raises or anything like that to the federal cost of living increases.”

As for what the public can do now, Williams points residents to social media and the petition that he and the El Paso Grassroots Coalition has, you can contact them directly.

“They can reach out to us on Facebook at El Paso Grassroots Coalition. You know, send it, send me a message. I’ll get somebody to you with a petition to sign it. You know, it’s the only way we can voice our opinion at this point,” said Williams.

“They can call me, when I’m in the office, it’s (915) 261-7115. If I don’t answer, I will get back to you. Now, there’s no message on that phone. That’s why I recommend using Messenger on Facebook because we’re able to store those messages and respond faster.”

Williams added that he will be in front of the El Paso County Courthouse on Monday, 25 February, at 9 a.m. collecting signatures.

I do invite you to listen to the audio of our conversation above, as there is so much more that we discussed and is available for you to download as well.


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City Manager Appoints Deputy City Manager

El Paso City Manager Tommy Gonzalez named Dionne Mack as Deputy City Manager of Public Safety and Support Services for the City of El Paso.

“Ms. Mack has a proven history of providing exemplary leadership with the City of El Paso. Her strong organizational management and service innovation skills make her a vital asset to the Senior Executive Team, the organization and our City as a whole,” said El Paso City Manager Tommy Gonzalez.

Mack is currently the interim Deputy City Manager of Public Safety and Support Services, and oversees the El Paso Fire and Police Departments, 911/311 Communications, Human Resources, Information Technology, the Office of Management and Budget and the Performance Office.

As interim Deputy City Manager, she provided the City Manager with a 100-day action plan that addressed several needs of the departments she oversees.

Mack first started with the City of El Paso in 2011 as the Public Library Director. Most recently, she served as Managing Director of Public Libraries and the Parks and Recreation Department. She also previously served as the Interim Managing Director of Quality of Life.

Mack holds a Bachelor of Science degree in history and African-American studies from the State University of New York College at Brockport and a Master’s in Africana Studies and a Master’s of Library Science from the University at Albany.

Mack will begin her new role with the City of El Paso effective Monday, July 17.

Mayor Leeser, City Manager Gonzalez release statements about Monday’s special meeting

Both Mayor Oscar Leeser and City Manager Tommy Gonzalez have released statements regarding a special City Council meeting scheduled for Monday, December 14th.  The specific item will be taken up during Executive Session.

Statement from City Manager Tommy Gonzalez:

 “I don’t know what the council will be discussing on Monday. However, as I have stated, I welcome an investigation. The investigation will demonstrate that I have done nothing wrong. I want the investigation to put everything out in the open. 

I followed city procedures, yet all of the facts have been taken out of context and misrepresented. I would hope the Mayor and Council would allow for the investigation to take place which will demonstrate that all procedures and existing policies were followed. However, if they choose to take action without a third-party investigation, they will be doing so without all the facts they would have to have to make a valid determination.”

Statement from Mayor Oscar Lesser:

“During the executive session discussion regarding hiring an investigator, questions related to personnel matters were raised and we were unable to discuss them because the agenda had not been posted for personnel issues. In order to allow council to discuss concerns related to personnel matters and to receive legal advice concerning our options, Rep. Niland and I asked for the item to be posted on Monday’s agenda.”

The City Council agenda can be viewed HERE

Soccer/Volleyball 728
Amy’s Ambassadorship
EP ELEC 2019 728×729
Mountains 728
STEP 728
Bordertown Undergroun Show 728
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Khalid 728
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