The City’s U-Matter Program

by Rich Wright

You Are Not the You in U-Matter

KVIA continues its block busting reporting with more information of the use of city credit cards.

El Paso City Manager Tommy Gonzalez’s office spent more than $100,000 using taxpayer-funded procurement cards (P-cards) from January 2022 to April 2023, according to documents obtained by ABC-7.

. . .

The vast majority of the spending shows up on the city manager’s secretary’s P-card.

. . .

Documents just obtained by ABC-7 show [the City Manager’s secretary Rosa Maria] Monsivais’ P-card was used more than 150 times from January 2022 to April 2023 totaling $98,195.87.

. . .

Two purchases are outliers when it comes to cost: 

March 16, 2022: $32,796 (Cielo Vista Mall gift cards)

November 14, 2022: $25,335 (Cielo Vista Mall gift cards)

The documents show the description of those purchases is for the city’s ‘U-Matter Program.’ ABC-7 asked City Spokeswoman Laura Cruz-Acosta several questions about what the program entails and how the gift cards are awarded to city staff. She says it is a “recognition program that acknowledges employees for performance that truly embodies the mission, vision, and values of our City.” Cruz-Acosta adds employees can be nominated by a council member, manager, supervisor, co-worker or resident. Gift cards are awarded and can come in values of $25, $50, $100 or $250. They are typically awarded within two weeks. The program has been around since 2015. ABC-7 asked how many gift cards the city currently has that have yet to be awarded. Cruz-Acosta is working to get ABC-7 that answer. 

Are They Card Cheats?

Gee, do you suppose that there’s any possibility of abuse when you’re dealing out gift cards like you’re playing gin rummy?

I assume it’s all documented, right?


It’s not like the gas cards, or the P Cards, or any of the other lucrative perks that the City Reps and City Staff get, is it?

Do the gifted employees pay taxes on that benefit? Because I’m pretty sure that they’re supposed to pay taxes on those benefits.

I sure would like to know who received those gift cards.

I’m getting the feeling that the City of El Paso is running an elaborate scam designed to fleece the taxpayers for the benefit of the people that work at City Hall.

One comment

  1. I”m waiting for Oklahoma Dee Margo to come out in defense of Tommy G….stomping his boots and Adair her Manolo’s or whatever expensive shoes the female Oligarchs wear. What the F…K!? $100,000 in Gift cards that the Citizens of El Paso pay for? I am so glad that Gonzalez has been fired. It makes me wonder what else was being swept under the rug or hidden? Then you have City Council members buying turkeys, giving out gasoline cards, etc. What it comes down to, is that basically these City Council members were and still are, buying VOTES. Pure and simple. There is no way else to phrase it. And, besides gasoline, how many of these gift cards ended up in the hands of the “chosen few.”? The Dallas Morning News, Feb 10, 2013, wrote an extensive article how Tommy G was squeezing vendors for sports tickets, and who knows what else. He was Fired from the city of Irving for shady and underhanded maneuvers. And, Steve Fischer, as part of the outside counsel that the City had asked for, found that not all of Gonzalez’ income was recorded while he was running his “consulting business.” Look it up for yourselves. Thank You Rich for exposing these nefarious people who are running around asking for transparency yet are doing just the opposite. I will leave you with these fine words from El Paso’s version of Cicero (sarcasm). “I hope that in the future we will definitely put the people of El Paso first and really take the politics out of it.” Fox News, October 2022.

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