Should we be concerned?

This was an October 2013 article in the Dallas Morning News.

Long accused of allowing south Irving to fall into decline while Las Colinas and Valley Ranch flourished, council members made the oldest part of the city a priority when Gonzalez came on board. Months after his arrival, the city’s years-long difficulty in finding a private partner ended when the council hired Delbert McDougal of Lubbock to redevelop the area.

McDougal was one of many prominent Lubbock residents who wrote letters in support of Gonzalez being named city manager there. His son, Marc McDougal, was mayor at the time and had supported Gonzalez’s bid for Irving city manager.

Gonzalez since 2011 has not responded to questions about whether he introduced or recommended the McDougals to the City Council. The city ended its contract with the McDougals’ Heritage District LLC in March after the parties’ five-year partnership didn’t result in any new construction projects. The council took over or forgave more than $30 million in loans made to McDougal entities and is now trying to sell several parcels of land that were collectively bought for almost three times the assessed value.

McDougal companies also received $1.2 million spent for consulting fees and expenses, including at least $59,500 in a housing allowance some council members didn’t know about. That partnership’s lack of construction is a primary reason City Council member Joe Putnam wants Gonzalez replaced.

“It was because of his management and his recommendation and his judgment that the city of Irving now has a $57.6 million liability on a project that has absolutely accomplished nothing,” Putnam said.

We deserve better


9 Responses to Should we be concerned?

  1. Enough Already says:

    What people need to be focusing on is not Gonzalez, but the mayor and members of city council who hired him knowing his previous track record of ethical issues and legal issues in Irving. City council’s disregard of the facts and their decision to hire him says everything about what is wrong with our city government. I don’t think his hiring was about giving someone a second chance. I think they wanted someone who had a proven track record of being susceptible to influence and special interests. He wasn’t the only candidate the city could afford, as some have suggested. Niland strongly defended him during the selection process and during the debates about his $60,000 raise and now she acts shocked. I am sick and tired of all the dishonesty and hypocrisy.


    • carlosinelpaso says:

      Right you are, on all points. But there isn’t a Council election on the horizon to make any of those guys accountable, especially Niland. Unless a recall election removes them, we’re stuck until they run for office again.

      Gonzalez needs to go, without a doubt.


  2. Fed Up says:

    Crooks are crooks and then their are elected crooks who hire crooks and we wonder why our taxes are so high – because they live HIGH


  3. El Paso, the land of second chances. Ask Tim Floyd or Mike Price.

    Only condition is, when you get yours, you can’t screw it up. Tim is still chuggin’ six years after he got his, and Mike managed to retire to semi-loved status.

    By all accounts, in just about a year and a half, Tommy Gonzalez has already screwed his up.

    The biggest issue is the corrupt nature of the accusations. What we’ve heard about is bad enough – what about what we don’t know? I think there’s more coming out that will only confirm our worst suspicions.

    There’s already rumblings of shady land deals with the city Real Estate Manager, who coincidentally has gotten a large raise since he’s been working with the City Manager.

    Things are gonna get a lot worse before they get better.



  4. Anonymous says:

    This entire tired situation reminds me of a tawdry parallel of the movie ‘Jack Reacher’, but without the car chase… and the whole sniper thing… and the gun fight in a rocky quarry…


  5. Taxpayer 13 says:

    Old news. This was in the local paper when Gonzalez applied for the CM position. Council ignored his past record in Irving because they felt he was the best candidate in the bunch. And he probably was. Because Lessor insisted on a low pay scale, there were few qualified applicants. City Council — including the mayor — got what they paid for. Next, they were asleep at the wheel when he was making friends with Romero and looking to replace the Financial Advisers. Council was so busy arguing who would sit where that they failed in the their duty to manage the CM. All of this falls back on Council and Mayor. Their incompetence is probably typical of most elected officials. I’m not sure what the answer is but we should probably pay council members more and hope that brings in people who are smarter than the ones who are siting there now.


    • Tina says:

      Niland, Limon, Robinson and Romero should all be replaced. Niland because of her arrogance and failure to pay attention to anything other than herself and Limon and Robinson because they do not possess the acumen to be council members. Romero lacks the ethical component that most people are born with which makes him a danger. I’m not sure about the others.


  6. Reality Checker says:

    One of the engineering firms now getting lots of business from the city had a cozy relationship with Gonzalez and didn’t even have an office here until after Gonzalez was hired.


  7. We knew he was damaged goods when they hired him. And, imho, he’s still damaged, and he is not doing any good for this City. But, then, neither are any of our elected officials.


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