Wilson to resign, search for new city manager to begin

KDBC
Thursday, October 10, 2013 - 1:28pm

City Manager Joyce Wilson announced her resignation Thursday, 11 months in advance.

Wilson's current contract with the City ends at the same time, September 2014.

"In order for the council to decide what they want to do, there has to be some finality in terms of a decision to step down," she said. "So I felt it was important to have that conversation now."

Mayor Oscar Leeser and city council members stood in the background in a show of support, and say they will begin the process to find a firm to hire a replacement.

"It may take us 9 months, 8 months, 6 months, so we don't want to rush a big decision for our City," said Mayor Leeser. "It gives us that opportunity to take our time, to get the right firm, to find the right person that will help us, that will work with us."

Wilson does not have a current offer for another job on the table, nor is she actively pursuing another job at this point, she said.

In June, Wilson was the finalist for the county manager job in Lee County, Fla., a position she turned down to stay working for the City of El Paso.

Wilson faced criticism over candid e-mails about previous council members and the quick turnaround of the AAA Baseball team deal with MountainStar Sports Group, and says that has been the low-point of her short tenure in El Paso.

"I was slashed and burned pretty badly for a sustained period of time in the public," she said. "I actually thought it was going to cause permanent harm to my career."

She does look fondly back on two recent projects, the bus system, and getting overwhelming support from voters for the 2012 Quality of Life Bond projects.

"That was pretty amazing thing given the recession," she said.

Wilson does not rule out the possibility of leaving before September, if the opportunity is right.

The City will look both internally, within the area, and nationally, before settling on a successor, said Mayor Leeser.

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