Do they ever do their homework at the city?

Have they done it again?

According to local news reports the city has hired a new deputy city manager to oversee the capital improvement, streets and maintenance, environmental services and mass transit operations.

His job will pay $183,300 per year.

Reading about him on the web, he appears to have many years of experience working at the city level.  Surprisingly he holds only a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering if I haven’t missed something.


This Friday, March 18, 2016 BaltimoreSun article might give us pause.  According to the article our new deputy city manager was involved in at least two situations that are reminiscent of what goes on here in El Paso.

According to the “Baltimore Sun”   he received over $14,000 in homestead tax exemptions on a property that he owned that he did not live in.  More troubling, they report that he received a bill from the state and did not pay it until several months later and then only when the Sun asked him about it.

Most of us can probably understand how a mistake was made when he moved out of a house and did not change his exemption status.  Few of us can accept a highly placed city official  not paying the tax bill when the state discovered the problem.

The article also points out that our new guy was involved in a failed speed camera system–“Zaied previously supervised the city’s speed camera system, which failed to monitor the rush of tickets it generated and was shut down nearly three years ago after repeatedly issuing erroneous citations.”  According to other Sun articles the speed camera system was supposed to generate money for Baltimore but ended up costing millions.

Let’s be fair

It could be that the new guy does not deserve criticism for what happened in Baltimore.  He might have been on the periphery of the situations and just got slimed as part of the process.

What we know for certain is that for the money we are paying we could hire someone with much better credentials and with less baggage.

Then again he might fit in well at the city.

We deserve better




12 Responses to Do they ever do their homework at the city?

  1. Oh, yeah. He “disclosed.” But, then, this City’s “leaders” were also aware of Gonzalez’ checkered past, and they hired him, didn’t they? Wouldn’t it be nice if just once this City either promoted from within, or hired someone local? I mean, doesn’t UTEP have a certain positive reputation for turning out good engineers?


  2. Reality Checker says:

    Once again, an El Paso organization hires someone from out of town rather than providing a growth opportunity for a person already in El Paso. One almost gets the feeling that the City of El Paso actually recruits people with questionnable pasts, not because they are cheaper which some suggest, but because they will be easy to “work with” and can be manipulated. Questionnable ethics seems to be a key qualification for being hired by the city or county. Plus, I don’t consider Gonzalez, his chief performance office, or this new hire to be low-cost hires.


    • Juana says:

      I doubt there is any local who can do the job. Certainly there is no one with talent currently on city staff. What are you going to do? Hire someone from the county?


      • Juana, maybe our young people would not be leaving El Paso in such high numbers if opportunities like this were available to them. I assure that our best and brightest have already left town because they lack opportunities for this kind of job if they stay here. We do indeed produce many locals who could do these jobs. Don’t fool yourself.


        • Germain says:

          Of course we produce locals who could do the job. But they are not here anymore. They left town. To get someone with experience in government plus management plus engineering, you have to look out of town. There is absolutely no “local” who meets the qualifications listed for director of public works.


  3. anonymous says:

    Once Gonzalez got a big bonus for cutting positions and so-called savings, he is now adding back positions and costs.


  4. ManintheMoon says:

    The CC and the City have nothing to worry about they can do what ever they want,hire who ever they want with questionable back grounds. No one I see is taking the CC and the City on over this,other issues or even attempting to stop what is happening. Who’s going to attempt to rein in the CC and the City and take them to task? Anyone? Crickets!


  5. Fed Up says:

    What is happening besides Gonzalez creating a huge bureaucracy so he can not be blamed for anything while pissing away the taxpayer money on more corrupt thugs!


  6. Juana says:

    I’m surprised anyone would take a job in El Paso. It’s about more than the dust. It’s about City Council and our weak mayor. Would you want to work in a city where the council like watching the Keystone cops?
    In any case, we need someone at the city who has a semblance of knowledge about how things are run. I’m hoping for the best.


  7. Judge Roy Bean says:

    The problem is not the source of applicants. Doesn’t matter if they are hired from out of state or El Paso. A winker is a winker. The local applicants have checkered past history and already “made”.

    The solution is eliminate the current attitude in the region. End all the shenanigans and break up the cronyism.

    Come on we sent a judge to prison and now we have a judge that decided he is entitled to make his own rules. When caught, it was an oversight, it was a misunderstanding, the soon to be ex and her attorney were cool with the arrangement. Common sense would dictate even to an inexperienced and untrained person that judges cannot preside over cases involving them personally.

    He will without a doubt be re-elected again and again because the public doesn’t give a damn until they face the “looney” judge and makes rulings according to whim. By then it is too late to expect legal and fair justice.

    Don’t expect any squeaky clean applicants until we clean up the mess we have. Throw my hands in the air !!


  8. our city government is a joke says:

    ” Surprisingly he holds only a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering if I haven’t missed something. ” try getting a bachelors degree in civil engineering. cal 1,2, & 3, differential equations, probability and statistics, programming class(fortran), physics 1 and 2, maybe 1 chemistry, possibly thermodynamics, strength of materials, not to mention the engineering courses. much tougher than business, accounting, finance, management, or anything along those lines imho. as far as im concerned they are not even close to needing the smarts of the other. give you an example of our city and water stupidity. the water upper management is looking at promoting a water sample taker(yes, she goes and takes the sample at different wells) to head chemist and she doesnt even have a degree in chemistry or microbiology. she has a degree in “multi disciplinary studies”. that means you took a few basic first year classes of everything ? the chemist & micro employees that test the water there get paid half of what the woman with a business degree at the desal water plant to just basically show the plant to students that visit. oh, but she got her masters in b.a.! god help us if we become another Flint Michigan.


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