City manager: Sometimes out of bounds

City manager: Sometimes out of bounds

Posted in the El Paso Forum


El Paso, TX

#1 Nov 11, 2012
City manager: Sometimes out of bounds
El Paso Times Editorial Board
Posted: 11/11/2012 12:00:00 AM MST

["El Paso City Manager Joyce Wilson has moved our city forward in her tenure, and her capstone accomplishment came Tuesday with approval of three bond issues in which voters agreed to invest almost half a billion dollars to improve our community.

Wilson deserves much credit for the work that went in to the bond issues.

But a cloud hangs over her accomplishments because recently released emails show that she has acted unprofessionally at times.

Opponents of a new Downtown El Paso baseball stadium and other quality-of-life issues obtained the emails using open-records laws. Their hope was to find evidence of the City Council and city officials engaging in illegal activity in developing the quality of life issues.

No one has yet produced any such evidence from the emails or anywhere else.

But the emails do show that Wilson at times lets her frustration get the best of her. She referred to citizens opposed to the ballpark as "crazies."

She said in another email that two City Council members were showing signs of dementia.

In another email, she essentially endorsed city Rep. Steve Ortega for mayor, a completely inappropriate act by any city manager.

Those sorts of comments cannot be defended, and Wilson has sincerely apologized.

This is certainly an embarrassing moment for her, and she seems determined to rebuild relationships with the community and City Council members. And council members, even those who
were mentioned critically by Wilson in the emails, seem willing to work with her on that effort.

That's a welcome approach.

This city is at one of the most important points in our history. Our citizens have decided to tax themselves to make a wise and critical investment in our future.

This effort must succeed, and it will take a fully functioning City Council and city administration to get it done. And it will require public confidence in our leadership.

Wilson and all City Council members need to recommit to treating citizens with respect, and treating each other with respect.

It will also be helpful if citizens show the same respect to the council and city administration, ending the character assassination that has marked opposition to the recent bond effort.

But even if that doesn't happen, our public officials must rise above it and do their jobs in a way that is respectful of our community, and of each other.

That means that City Council members must stop sending emails to Wilson during council meetings complaining about their colleagues or about citizens speaking at the meeting. If they have something important to say, do it publicly in the meeting, not in mean-spirited private messages.

Wilson has a relentless drive to get important work done. That is a valuable trait in a city manager. But it also can be an impediment if that drive results in visible frustration when things don't happen as quickly as she wishes."]

With an attitude like that and demeanor of a Mafia Don. we need to have Ms.(I use that with little respect) Joyce Wilson thrown out of office. It is not the way we should work. She disses the public and the council members who run contrary to her purposes.

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