This coming Tuesday, City Council will take up agenda item 23, sponsored by Mayor Leeser: “Discussion and action regarding the procedure for appointment of Colonel (Ret.) Cary Westin as Interim City Manager effective June 30, 2023.
The backup to the agenda item states that “In order to ensure continuity of operations for the City of El Paso, after Mr. Gonzalez’s last day on June 29, 2023, it will be necessary to appoint an Interim City Manager. Mr. Westin is currently working for the City of El Paso on a full-time basis. If Council approves Mr. Westin’s appointment, he will return to the City of El Paso on a full-time basis. His role will be to assist and support Mr. Gonzalez during the next several months in order to be prepared to assume the Interim City Manager’s position, beginning June 30, 2023.”
Rep. Cassandra Hernandez of the Oligrachy Caucus complained to the El Paso Times: “The city manager position is such an integral part to the city’s governance structure and city function, there should have been a plan in place before termination.”
Tommy Gonzalez has 111 more days until he has to leave, and an experienced administrator will serve as Interim City Manager pending a search, much like Sean McGlynn was appointed Interim City Manager back in 2014, before Gonzalez assumed office.
Col. Westin is a combat veteran who served in the United States Army for 24 years before starting a career in business and economic development. He was appointed Managing Director of Economic Development for the City in January 2014, before the arrival of Tommy Gonzalez, and then was promoted to Deputy City Manager (2017-2019) and finally to Senior Deputy City Manager (2019-2022).
I believe the Mayor is making the correct choice and I have confidence that he will work with his friends on City Council—no doubt over the objections of the Oligarchy Caucus—to hire a new City Manager who will actually take direction from our elected leaders, behave ethically, and stop the insane deficit spending.
Bravo, Mr. Mayor!