This is your Friday update, which takes a quick look at the week ahead and some developments that El Paso Matters is following.
El Paso County Women’s Commission: The El Paso County Commissioners Court on Monday appointed seven women to the first-ever County Charter Women’s Commission. Those appointed were retired Judge Linda Chew, Xochitl Rodriguez, Christina Paz, Teresa Chavira, Andi Tiscareno, Perla Galindo and Dorothy “Sissy” Byrd. The court also named Ersela Kripa as an alternate at-large member. The women’s commission is expected to have its first meeting soon. The El Paso County Commissioners Court voted on June 27 to establish the commission, which will make recommendations on legislative initiatives, policy, programs and studies.
Interim City Manager Pay: The city of El Paso will pay Interim City Manager Cary Westin $320,000 per year until a permanent city manager is hired. Westin will take over on June 30. The El Paso City Council approved his salary following Monday’s executive session. Westin currently serves as a senior operations officer under outgoing City Manager Tommy Gonzalez. Westin, 59, a retired Army colonel, joined the city in 2014 and retired in May because of family health issues, but returned to work for the city part time in August. Westin will also keep his $400 monthly car allowance and $250 monthly expense allowance he was receiving as the senior operations officer. Gonzalez was abruptly fired by City Council in February without cause with Mayor Oscar Leeser breaking a tie vote in favor of the termination. Gonzalez’s controversial tenure as city manager ends June 29.
Upcoming El Paso Electric Refund: El Paso households this summer will see slightly lower bills from El Paso Electric after the utility this week announced a credit that will lower residential customers’ bills by $11 on average per month from June through September. The bill credit will lower most bills for Texas customers by nearly 10% on average. Customers in New Mexico will receive a credit worth $18 on average in June. EPE said the credit is the result of the utility selling electricity to other states and utilities, which offset the costs for fuel that El Paso Electric charges customers.