Interim City Manager Cary Westin has announced that he will not seek a permanent position. This is sad news for our community, as he has been a very effective administrator in the 11 months since Tommy Gonzalez was fired.

(Ret.) Col. Westin has achieved a no-new-revenue tax rate for FY 2024 and is working hard to prevent a tax increase in FY 2025 as well. He has committed to not issuing a single dollar of bond debt in the current fiscal year. He has overseen much-needed structural changes in our government and significantly improved the work climate among the City’s more than 6,000 employees.

Mayor Leeser told KVIA: “Col. Westin has done an exemplary job as Interim City Manager. He has demonstrated skillful leadership on multiple fronts in a very short timeframe: from his innovative strategies in working with us to pass a no-new-revenue tax rate, to his positive and unifying direction of the city team, and his strategic and vigilant management of federal resources, just to name a few. He is a thoughtful leader who provided a steady hand that enabled us to accomplish great things in this interim period. While I am disappointed that he has chosen not to pursue the possibility of a permanent role, I am happy to inform the community that he has agreed to stay on until a permanent City Manager is named.”

We are pleased that Col. Westin will stay with us until a suitable replacement is found. We hope City Council will consider retaining him as a consultant even after the new hire in order to shorten the learning curve and help facilitate the transition to new leadership.


Now the City will hire a firm with national prominence to seek candidates for the City Manager position.

There are voices in El Paso insisting that the next City Manager be from El Paso, and they are dead wrong. This is a country of 332,000,000 inhabitants and we should not limit our search to our city of 678,000.

Let us remember that Col. Westin is from Minneapolis, Minnesota and that he has done an outstanding job for our community.

99.8% of the American population lies outside El Paso and our City must cast the widest net possible to attract eminently qualified candidates.

The successful candidate should be hired because he/she is the most qualified, and that should be the primary consideration.