Irving, Texas. June 26, 2009 – While most are suffering the effects of a tough economy, Irving City Officials, felt the need to give a nice pay raise to City Manager, Tommy Gonzalez; making him the highest paid city manager in North Texas.
With the new pay raise, Tommy Gonzalez brings in $428,000 a year in salary, benefits and incentives.
We're not saying Mr. Gonzalez does not deserve it. In fact, he has done an excellent job in Irving.
According to Bret Starr, finance manager for the city of Irving, "Our estimates on hard-dollar savings are 12.7 million dollars over the last two years." That is a lot of savings for the city that are credited to Mr. Gonzalez.
City Council members point to the fact that Gonzalez keeps a balanced budget for Irving.
They were so happy with his job that they offered him $150,000 in up front money. The $150k is not really a bonus, but a "retention loan". If Gonzalez breaks his five-year contract, he has to pay that money back to the city. If he stays, he doesn't.
We have a feeling he will be staying the five years.
"We want to keep Tommy. Tommy is a great city manager. We want to keep him here and rather than have him go to another city.", said Council member Allan Meagher.
Some that are outraged at the salary, say that pay should be comparable to the size of the city and budget being managed. They say that Irving's City Manager should not be making more than the Dallas or Fort Worth City Managers.
Mayor Herbert Gears believes that staff morale is higher now that Mr. Gonzalez is in charge.
"Tommy is providing hope in our city because of his leadership, his maturity and his work ethic," the mayor said in a recent interview.
About Tommy Gonzalez
Before coming to Irving in May 2006, Gonzalez was one of four assistant city managers for the city of Dallas, where he was in charge of the Efficiency Team, Equipment and Building Services, Human Resources/Risk Management/Safety and Office of Environmental Quality. He was also liaison to the Civil Service Department.
Prior to joining the city of Dallas, he was city manager of Harlingen.
Gonzalez served in the Military and played quarterback for Eastern New Mexico University in the middle 1980s.
He now oversees a budget of over $350 million and a staff of 2,180 city employees.
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