Cary Westin’s Lucrative Retirement

You’ll remember that back in May, Col. (Ret.) Cary Westin retired from his position as Deputy City Manager for the City of El Paso.

To refresh your memory, here’s a May 11, 2022 KFOX14.com report on the Colonel’s (Ret.) retirement announcement:

The Senior Deputy City Manager for the City of El Paso, Colonel (Ret) Cary Westin, will be retiring.

The announcement was made at Tuesday’s city council meeting.

Westin joined the City of El Paso in 2014 and currently overlooks the city’s economic development and tourism departments.

“Cary has been by far one of the most influential people in my career,” said City Manager Tommy Gonzalez.

“It’s been an honor to work alongside him. I have challenged him to do more than is imaginable and certainly what at times has to have been uncomfortable, but Cary always, always took the guidance, and came back with results each time.”

Gonzalez said he convinced Westin to still work with the City of El Paso on a limited basis.

The emphasis is obviously mine.

I wondered how persuasive Mr. Gonzalez could be, so yesterday I filed a Public Information Act request for an “Employment agreement or contract between the City of El Paso and Col. (Ret.) Cary Westin.”

Today I got a response from the City. They should be commended on the fast turnaround.

Here’s what appears to be Col. (Ret.) Westin’s latest employment agreement dated May 25, 2022, fifteen days after his retirement was announced to City Council.

Dear Mr. Westin:

Your salary and benefits will be updated effective May 22, 2022 as follows:

An annual salary of $221,144.00
Deferred Compensation (401 A) – $17,500 annually
Annual Car allowance $4,800.00 ($400.00/month)
Vacation leave balance – maximum balance of 600 hours

The remainder of your benefits will remain as outlined in your most recent job offer or salary update letter.

Thank you for your continued contributions as a strategic partner for the City of El Paso.

Sincerely,

Araceli Guerra
Managing Director of Internal Services
Department of Human Resources

Shades of Jane Shang.

Does Col. (Ret.) Westin know where some of the bodies are buried? Or is he just a good ol’ boy?

His employment agreement when he was promoted to Deputy City Manager, dated March 20, 2017, stipulated an annual salary of $183,566,25, a car allowance of $350.00 a month, 5.24 hours of vacation leave biweekly (136 hours annually), and an annual deferred compensation contribution of $7,500 to a 401A Plan.

But City Manager Tommy Gonzalez convinced him to still work with the City on a limited basis, for $221,144 a year, with $17,500 deferred compensation, and a $400 a month car allowance.

Retiring from the City is apparently a better gig than working for the City. Mr. Gonzalez will walk with close to a million bucks when he separates, or is separated from, the City of El Paso.

Col. (Ret.) Westin doesn’t get the lump sum, but he gets a lucrative contract extension for working “on a limited basis”.

Whatever that means.

8 comments

  1. I’m an idiot for going to graduate school when I could’ve just grifted off the taxpayers.

  2. Greedy guy. Probably a ‘triple dipper’ too. The fat cats are squeezing the rest of us.

  3. Incredible, but not surprising given the state of the City Council & Tomas Gonzalez. I’ve posted this before, but when Gonzalez was listed among the 4 finalists (though not yet chosen), City Council immediately ran and gave Tommy G a sizeable increase. My reasoning then was, isn’t there someone “on the bench” that can move up and replace Gonzalez should he have gone? Ang I say “gone” because would he have moved from a cushy El Paso job to make $100,000 a year LESS in Frisco? Col. Westin, I am sure, could have been persuaded to stay on. But $221,000 + “benefits” for basically a “part time” job? The average El Pasoan is making $24,000 yet these City Hall denizens are making money hand over fist. When will the greed stop? El Paso isn’t exactly Austin, nor Dallas nor San Antonio which is experiencing explosive growth. It’s basically flatlined. I say vote them all out come November.

  4. There are four city council members up for election in November, vote them all out.

  5. Thank you for this, Rich. You do the hard work that our lazy, incompetent local journalists will not.

  6. How does one retire after only working somewhere for eight years? And, WTAF did he ever do to justify a salary and benefit package so damn generous?! El Paso, Wake up!!!

  7. John Dungan, I Totally agree! However, lets look at El Paso’s most recent history…on different fronts. The EPISD school board, led by Dori Fennenbock, goes and hires Juan Cabrera. An attorney with ZERO experience as a School Administrator. He is paid $500,000…then along the way he mooched as much as he could. Flying frequently-First Class due to some unspecified medical condition. He would stay at first class hotels. When it was discovered that he and Dori had started a side business—a charter school while STILL employed by EPISD, he was let go. Not without a “farewell gift” of $500,000 to go away. Now, we have Tommy Gonzalez and his soon to be $450,000 contract. Do you remember when Gonzalez was allowed to form a side “consulting” business with his wife, along with the help of former CC member, Larry Romero? Romero was another one who was mooching. On medical leave but caught on TV attending the Master’s golf tournament. Now, whenever Gonzalez leaves, El Paso will have to pay him $1,000,000 as a going away present. I say vote out the upcoming city council members coming up in November.

  8. P.S. Not sure if Westin was a full bird Colonel or Lt. Colonel….probably the latter as only 2% of the military make Colonel…while 8% make Lt. Colonel. If he is indeed a Lt. Colonel he’s getting $66,816 in retirement. Plus Free HealthCare at either the V.A. or William Beaumont. Not to mention Free Pharmacy benefits.

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