The following is a Press Release from Justicia Fronteriza:
Justicia Fronteriza PAC is extremely disappointed, but not surprised that a majority of City Council representatives voted in favor of convincing City Manager Tommy Gonzalez to remain in El Paso for another 7 years.
“Tommy Gonzalez had no intention of taking a pay cut to go to Frisco. He played City Council and five representatives were either too scared or too incompetent to call his bluff. Now he stands to make more than the President of the United States in addition to his million dollar payout at the end of his contract. We cannot trust the majority of city council to do the right thing. We have to vote them out,” said Kenneth Bell, Assistant Treasurer of Justicia Fronteriza.
“Representatives Peter Svarzbein (D1), Cassandra Hernandez (D3), Isabel Salcido (D5), Henry Rivera (D7) and Cissy Lizarraga (D8) have once again shown how out of touch they are with El Pasoans. When I ran for Mayor in 2020, one of the first things many voters told me was that we needed to get rid of the City Manager, Tommy Gonzalez. They were upset about his salary, but more than that, they were upset that they had to pay high utility bills and property taxes while also dealing with the substandard conditions of their streets, parks, libraries, and pools and next to nothing in regards to climate change. They were also upset at how difficult it is to get the City to respond to complaints. This sentiment was confirmed in a recent poll we commissioned: 63% of those surveyed rated Tommy Gonzalez’s performance as City Manager negatively,” said Veronica Carbajal, President of Justicia Fronteriza PAC.
As a reminder, 104 days, more than 3 months, after the federal government authorized the City of El Paso to spend $119 million in CARES Act money on public health, the City Manager had spent a mere $3 million to save lives. As reported by KFOX, when he finally decided to spend the money, Gonzalez spent $37.5 million on buildings for vaccinations that as of February 2021, had not been completed or used. People were waiting up to 4 hours to get tested – corpses lay in temporary freezers – small businesses couldn’t pay the rent – and Gonzalez was land banking and telling people they would beat COVID by eating healthy, exercising and having a strong mind.
It’s unclear when our City services will ever recover from Gonzalez’s incompetent choices during the pandemic. Mr. Gonzalez used the pandemic as a pretext to fire over 400 city employees, including libraries and day care workers. Many of those workers have not been rehired and our libraries, museums and pools are still not operating at full schedules if they are open at all.
Our streets continue to flood and many remain full of potholes. How can the City claim Mr. Gonzalez has saved us millions of dollars while also planning to propose yet another bond for street maintenance? Either he’s saved and made us money or he hasn’t. All evidence points to the latter.
“He didn’t even get the Frisco job offer! Five of our City Reps showed their gullibility to his ploys for more money and job security. Gonzalez does not own a home in El Paso, so he’s never directly paid the outrageous property taxes with which his reckless spending burdens our residents,” said Kathleen Staudt, Justicia Fronteriza volunteer.
“I have never heard anyone defend Tommy Gonzalez except a few oligarchs like Margo, Hunt, Foster, and also a few lost and corrupt City Reps who continuously support him in ridiculous measures. This man has done NOTHING beneficial for our community. He is fake, exploitative of anything that might make him look better in the public eye even if he doesn’t actually believe in it truly; such as protecting our community from further environmental disaster perpetuated largely by El Paso Electric. He had a big hand in pushing the JP Morgan buyout instead of pushing for the City to buy the company. The city even paid over $58,000 for his private attorney’s fees after he was admonished by the Ethics Commission for his involvement in the paving of the alley behind then City Rep’s Larry Romero’s house and the speed bumps in front of Romero’s alma mater without city council approval. He is a waste of space and sucking money into his pockets from our city which he cares nothing about,” said Crystal Moran, Justicia Fronteriza volunteer.
The majority of City Council may be asleep at the wheel, but the citizens of El Paso are waking up. This November, we encourage voters to vote out Isabel Salcido (D5) and Cissy Lizarraga (D8). We expect the candidates for District 1 and District 6 to take a pledge to dismiss Mr. Gonzalez and pay him his severance packet. We must cut our losses.