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Tommy Gonzalez says he’s staying after El Paso City Council votes to extend city manager’s contract through 2029

UPDATE (05/16): El Paso's City Manager Tommy Gonzalez says he is withdrawing his name from consideration for a similar position in Frisco, Texas.

“I am overwhelmed with the support I have received from the community, our employees, and the City Council. With this in mind, I have removed myself from the City Manager search in Frisco, Texas,” said Gonzalez. “I’m committed to El Paso. We’re not finished here.”

EL PASO, Texas – In a 5 to 3 vote, El Paso's City council voted to extend the City manager's contract until June 24, 2029.

The City council held a special meeting Monday to discuss and amend Tommy Gonzalez's contract following the revelation last week that he was one of four finalists for a city manager position in Frisco, Texas.

District 1 Rep. Peter Svarzbein read out the amendments to Gonzalez's contract after the council gathered to vote following a four-hours-long discussion in executive session. Gonzalez's previous contract would have expired on June 22, 2024, when it would have automatically renewed for terms of two years unless the council notified the manager not less than 120 days prior to the expiration of any renewal terms that it intends not to renew the agreement.

In addition to the extension, the council voted that Gonzalez's base salary should not increase above $450,000 unless the average base salary of the three highest comparison cities under the agreement is above, $450,000. If the average were to go above $450,000, the city manager's base salary would increase the lesser of the base salary with a merit increase, or other increases under the employment agreement, or the base salary of the average of the three highest comparison cities. The cities were not disclosed.

According to the city, the city manager's current compensation as of May 12 is $404,377.75. That translates to $194.41 an hour.

Council also agreed that the city would pay Gonzalez's portion of the contribution under the city's pension plan up to the maximum allowed by law and in accordance with the city's pension plan.

The city also will pay Gonzalez's portion of the contribution, up to the maximum extent allowed by law, in accordance with the terms of the city 457 deferred compensation plan.

District 2 representative Alexsandra Annello spoke up before the vote to say explain why she would not be voting in favor of the motion.

"When this contract first passed, I said, you know, I think Mr. Gonzalez is doing a good job, but there are some things in this contract that I don't think protect the constituents of the city of El Paso. I still think that's true. I think that Mr. Gonzalez is doing a fantastic job, but there are things in this contract that do not protect the citizens of El Paso. And Council did not want to take those up today. They only wanted to discuss things that were determined between one city representative and Mr. Gonzalez in private, and I don't think that that's appropriate," said Annello.

El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser did not speak after the council got out of executive session and left immediately after the council voted and an adjourned the special meeting.

Voting for the changes:

  • Peter Svarzbein
  • Cassandra Hernandez
  • Isabel Salcido
  • Henry Rivera
  • Cissy Lizarraga

Voting against the changes:

  • Alexsandra Annello
  • Joe Molinar
  • Claudia Rodriguez

No action was taken on the city attorney's annual performance review.

Gonzalez's previous contract:

City Manager Employment Agr... by David Gonzalez

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David Gonzalez

ABC-7’s digital content director

Comments

1 Comment

  1. When I retired from my job in Idaho, I was offered $200/hr. to stay on as a consultant. I declined saying, “It’s not about the money.” Glad I did.

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