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Wednesday, June 5, 2013 - 11:03pm
El Paso, TX (KDBC) — El Pasoans are living in an era of change.
With a new mayor, and three new city council members on the way, the Sun City may also welcome a new city manager.
Joyce Wilson, El Paso's current city manager, is a finalist for a position in Lee County, Florida.
"I don't think there's any question that she is by far a great candidate for this job," said Commissioner Larry Kiker from Lee County.
"This is a good opportunity and if I want to make a move this is probably a good time to do it," said Wilson.
At an interview Tuesday morning, 5 finalists took part in a structured Q&A session before the Board of Commissioners, that lasted 45 minutes for each candidate.
After the interviews, the majority of Lee County Commissioners said Wilson is their top choice for the County Manager job.
"Very articulate, very specific," said one commissioner, in reference to Wilson.
"This is one of the toughest choices I've ever had to make in my life," said another commissioner.
Wilson was appointed El Paso's first city manager in 2004, and has been the City's only city manager so far.
Mayor John Cook says he isn't surprised that Wilson is the top pick in Florida.
"Ms. Wilson has an excellent reputation around the state, and an excellent reputation around the nation, as a very efficient city manager," said Mayor Cook.
He worries about the transition, should Wilson leave El Paso at a time when a new administration is set to take over.
Wilson's contract is set to expire September 30th, 2014. But in an interview with reporters in Florida, she said she could begin her new job as soon as August, if chosen.
Her contract here allows her to leave on amicable terms, should Wilson want to leave El Paso before her contract ends.
"Any time someone can move on with their career aspirations, and it's good for them, and if they leave the city in good shape, then that's fine," said Mayor Cook.
There is no salary range for the County Manager position in Lee County, but previous managers have earned base salaries from $170,000 dollars to $248,000. City manager Joyce Wilson says she's willing to take a lower salary in Florida, than the $239,000 she makes here in El Paso.
County commissioners in Lee County, Florida will make their final selection next Tuesday, and decide whether to begin contract negotiations for Wilson.