The following is a press release from the Community First Coalition of El Paso:
The El Paso City Council’s action to extend the City Manager’s contract showed utmost disregard, not only for its citizens, but also for its obligation to be transparent and accountable to the public.
In a hastily planned special meeting on Monday which was held specifically to address the immediate career concerns of the City Manager, the council amended his contract, extending it by 7 years (2029) and increasing his annual salary range to no more than $450,000.
The speed and lack of any discussion or information to the public can only mean city leaders knew this would be a controversial issue which would not sit well with many. The one bit of information offered by Rep. Alexsandra Anello that the issue was led by one representative who had a discussion with Gonzalez in secret, was nonetheless approved by the majority and is indicative of a now familiar pattern. The same five-member majority comprised of Cissy Lizarraga, Isabel Salcido, Cassandra Hernandez, Henry Rivera and Peter Svarzbein has worked in this manner of quiet acquiescence on many other controversial issues.
El Pasoans should be appalled at the manner in which our public business was handled yesterday and should demand a reconsideration of the motion to extend the contract. We should require an explanation and rationale for yesterday’s actions, but most importantly, a full discussion with public input on the merits of the City Manager’s performance and commitment to our community is strongly warranted.
COMMUNITY FIRST COALITION OF EL PASO is a non-partisan network of organizations and leaders whose purpose is to empower the community by advocating for transparency and accountability in local government. In 2020, the Coalition published the book, “Who Rules El Paso? Private Gain, Public Policy and the Community Interest.