the Controversial Committee Report
“We don’t raise sacred cows...we just butcher them.”
"Leap On This"
As this is a leap year, February 29, 2016, may be another memorable day tomorrow when the El Paso city council continues their review in the investigation of city manager Tommy Gonzalez. The only difference between the El Paso city council and the Irving city council is El Paso was astute enough to challenge and investigate the Gonzalez approach to city management…rather, mismanagement might be a better term for his tenure.
If only Irving had had the council leadership to follow suit, then the city would not have been left holding the bag for the McDougal Heritage District fiasco, cronyism with apportionment of economic development funds, midnight destruction and removal of city pools, low staff morale with changes in operations which are still plaguing the city today, and who knows what else might have been uncovered.
Instead, the Irving city council fell into the abyss of believing the Baldridge Award and 6-Sigma were the same as effective city management.
The following is the editorial regarding the current Gonzalez affair. The link to a previous article which details the Fischer report is also noted below.
As the e-mail addresses for the El Paso city council members are included in the editorial, you might want to share one of your memorable experiences during the Tommy Gonzalez Irving reign. After all, sharing is caring!
Editorial: El Pasoans, speak up on city government
February 27, 2016
It’s up to the people of El Paso to decide if they are getting the quality of municipal government they want. A report by an outside investigator reinforces questions about the performance of city government, particularly City Manager Tommy Gonzalez.
El Pasoans should reach out to the mayor and City Council to share their views on the current state of city government.
The El Paso Times editorial board has made its position clear: Gonzalez is not an effective city manager, and needs to go. The report prepared by Austin attorney Ross Fischer enhances that belief.
The best that can be said for Gonzalez is that Fischer found that he didn’t violate many city policies when he made an ill-informed and unjustified decision to try to replace the city’s financial adviser.
That Gonzalez may have largely complied with policies is of little consolation. The fact that the city manager led a series of bad decisions while following policy is reason to review the policy, not absolve the city manager.
The effort, which originated with city Rep. Larry Romero, ended when the city attorney raised questons as the city was on the verge of awarding a contract to a company that Romero used to work for. Fischer’s report says the CEO of that company, Noe Hinojosa, called Romero in July 2015 to inquire about the progress of the contract award – a serious violation of a city anti-corruption policy that prohibits contact between bidders and City Council members while a bid is being considered.
Fischer’s report said Gonzalez may have violated purchasing rules by asking for a three-week bid window, short of the city’s four-week requirement.
Fischer also raised serious questions about Gonzalez’s financial disclosures that must be addressed.
Other issues surrounding Gonzalez, including changes in a City Council-approved street resurfacing plan and his decision to install speed humps in front of Cathedral High School in violation of city policy, are being addressed in a separate investigation by the city’s Ethics Review Commission.
City Council plans another meeting Monday to discuss its response to Fischer’s findings and recommendations. They need to hear from their constituents on these matters.
Mayor Oscar Leeser: 915-212-0021, firstname.lastname@example.org
District 1 Rep. Peter Svarzbein: 915-212-0001, email@example.com
District 3 Rep. Emma Acosta: 915-212-0003, firstname.lastname@example.org
District 4 Rep. Carl Robinson: 915-212-0004, email@example.com
District 5 Rep. Michiel Noe: 915-212-0005, firstname.lastname@example.org
District 6 Rep. Claudia Ordaz: 915-212-0006, email@example.com
District 7 Rep. Lily Limon: 915-212-0007, firstname.lastname@example.org
District 8 Rep. Cortney Niland: 915-212-0008, email@example.com
This is the second of a three-part editorial series on a
report issued by Austin attorney Ross Fischer, who was hired
by the city to investigate several ethics-related issues in El Paso
municipal government. (CCR Note: The report noted in this link is 193 pp.)
Additional Reference: El Paso Times