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Irving City Council To Decide Future Of City Manager

Bud Gillett, CBS 11 News | CBSDFW.COM
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Updated 9:50 p.m.

IRVING (CBS 11 NEWS) – Irving city leaders did not make a decision about the fate of controversial city manager Tommy Gonzalez on Wednesday night.

City council members met for several hours behind closed doors in executive session to discuss Gonzalez’s future.  Two hours into that meeting Irving mayor Beth Van Duyne announced there would be no resolution this evening.

Van Duyne said all options are on the table, including a settlement, severance or new contract for Gonzalez.

The mayor said public comment and a city council vote will take place another night, but no date has been set.

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IRVING (CBS 11 NEWS) – A specially-called Irving City Council meeting Wednesday night is expected to determine the immediate future of City Manager Tommy Gonzalez.

Gonzalez’s contract expires soon and the council could re-sign him, let him go, or let him go with a severance package rumored in the half-million dollar range – a number that concerns Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne.

“I don’t know what the rush is.  The fact is we’re a few hours from the meeting and I don’t even know what the severance is that we’re negotiating.” said the Mayor.

The meeting wasn’t the mayor’s idea.  It was forced last Sunday when three council members called for a special session.  Rose Cannaday is one of them.

“There was no leadership in dealing with the contract,” says Cannaday, who thinks the issue of Gonzalez’s contract has dragged on too long.  And that 5-year contract is up May 1st.

Gonzalez’s pay package has made him the target of accusations: of taking freebies, including, allegedly some suites at the AAC.

Gonzalez denies any wrongdoing and neither Cannaday nor the mayor think the rumors have merit.  But he’s said to be so upset with them that he now wants out anyway.

But Cannaday says he’s been a good manager.  “I think he came in at a time when the city was stagnant and done some good things to propel us forward.”

Mayor Van Duyne agrees that he has executed the policy voted on by the majority of the council.  “The fact is if you think the city manager has done a good job offer him a new contract.  If you think the city manager needs to go, allow his contract to terminate.”

But some council members feel if he’s let go there should be a severance package, something frequently done.

Cannaday is unsure what her fellow council members will do.  “The council was split 3-4 different ways on what to do so that will be determined tonight.”

Van Duyne is concerned that any proposed severance is open-ended: that spaces on the agenda are blank.

“The fact that you had three council members who are calling an emergency meeting on a Sunday night for Wednesday without the documents prepared, doesn’t make any sense.” she said.

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