Written by Staff
By Amanda Casanova
IRVING – After months of debate and controversy, City Manager Tommy Gonzalez will remain the City’s top city leader – at least for a few more months.
The Council voted 5-3 on April 4 for a contract extension through Oct. 1after spending about an hour in closed executive session to discuss the employment contract, which was set to expire on May 1.
Council members Michael Gallaway, Roy Santoscoy, Thomas Spink Rose Cannaday and Gerald Farris voted for the contract extension. Mayor Beth Van Duyne and council members Joe Putnam and Brad LaMorgese voted against. Dennis Webb was absent.
The extension will keep Gonzalez at the City’s top post until Oct. 1 and then he will stay on until Dec. 31 as a transitional consultant to an interim city manager. He will then be paid for accrued vacation, his $60,000 retention pay for this year and a 2009 housing loan he had will be forgiven. If he resigns before the contract ends, the contract will terminate.
City staff said at the meeting that Gonzalez had approved the agreement.
“This contract felt fair,” Cannaday said. “It’s the type of thing that will give him time to transition.”
However, Spink, who opposed the resolution, said the Council was making a mistake.
“He has done one hell of a job putting this city together,” he said. “I truly respect this man. He’s going to be hired within 60 days by some city who knows what moving forward is all about.”
The Council’s decision ultimately provides for a change to different City leadership and also shuts down rumors that the Council was going to spend about $500,000 to buy Gonzalez out of his contract.