EL PASO, Texas -- El Paso City Manager Tommy Gonzalez is set to receive a 5% merit increase that will put his annual salary at nearly $400,000 after receiving a positive review from the the mayor and city council.
Even before this current raise, and before a 5% merit raise he received last year, Gonzalez already made more than his manager counterparts in larger cities such as Dallas and Phoenix.
In an evaluation done in June as part of his contract with the city, the mayor and council gave Gonzalez an overall rating of 3.81 on a scale of one to four. That's according to evaluation documents released by the city under the state's public records law.
But the documents contain limited information and lack specifics about some of the reasons why Mayor Oscar Lesser and city representatives rated Gonzalez as they did.
The same was true about the evaluation documents for City Attorney Karla Neiman, who will get a 2% raise to roughly $266,000, after also receiving a positive review.
When asked by ABC-7 to discuss the city manager's strengths and why he deserved the pay hike, Lesser explained that the raise was contractually required based on the evaluation - but didn't provide specific reasons for why he rated Gonzalez as high as he did.
"We just need to continue to grow as a community. And I think both evaluations were very good. If you saw, the city manager got a 3.81 and the city attorney got a 4.18. Those were both really good evaluations. And if you think about the time of Covid-19 and everything that's been going. There's been a lot of challenging times and both evaluations were very good," Lessor said.
Three of the six city representatives on council who responded to requests for comment by ABC-7 also declined to discuss specifics about their evaluations. Rep. Alexsandra Annello indicated the overall ratings of the pair were a "majority decision," while Rep. Isabel Salcido praised Gonzalez for "doing very good job executing the council's direction" and said Neiman "has provided us with strong (legal) guidance."