This is your Friday update, which takes a quick look at the week ahead and some developments that El Paso Matters is following.
City Manager Contract, Search: City Manager Tommy Gonzalez’s departure from his role with the city is up for discussion at Tuesday’s regular City Council meeting. The agenda has three items related to the city manager whose last day is June 29. One is set for discussion and action on the “mutual release” between the city and Gonzalez’s separation from employment. Gonzalez’s contract was abruptly terminated Feb. 28. The City Council will also vote on hiring the Chicago-based Baker Tilly US, LLP executive recruitment firm for $37,200 to search for a new city manager. There is also an item on the city’s executive session agenda to discuss the city manager’s annual performance evaluation. Cary Westin is serving as interim city manager until a permanent replacement is hired.
UMC to Buy Surgical Hospital on East Side: The El Paso County Commissioners Court this week authorized University Medical Center to proceed with the purchase of the El Paso Surgical Hospital on the Eastside. The El Paso County Hospital District, or UMC, will issue $55 million in revenue bonds to purchase the East El Paso Physicians Medical Center, 1416 George Dieter Drive. The purchase will not impact the hospital’s or county’s property tax rate. The surgical center has six operating rooms, 40 hospital beds, and an emergency room.
Juneteenth Celebrations: The First Juneteenth Cultural Celebration Gala, a black-tie event, will begin at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at the Abraham Chavez Theatre. The celebration is being organized by El Paso Live and is one of several Juneteenth celebrations happening this weekend. The holiday commemorates the day that enslaved Africans learned of their emancipation. Tickets to the event cost $150 and will feature an art auction, live music, food and various performances. Some of this weekend’s other celebrations include a Black History Fine Arts Student Exhibition from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Plaza Hotel, 106 W. Mills Ave. Tickets to the exhibit are $100 each. Proceeds will benefit The Great Khalid Foundation. Tickets are available online at thegreatkhalidfoundation.org. Also, the El Paso Art Association will have an art exhibit featuring Angie-Michelle and YOU. Michelle will talk about the holiday and its importance in American history from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday at the Crossland Gallery, 500 W. Paisano Drive. The El Paso/Las Cruces Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Inc. will have a fish-fry fundraiser from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. The cost is $15 a plate. All orders must be picked up at Phillips Chapel CME Church, 3432 Wyoming Ave. Get tickets on eventbrite.com.