This is your Friday update, which takes a quick look at the week ahead and some developments that El Paso Matters is following.
EPCC Accreditation: El Paso Community College last month had its accreditation reaffirmed by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commissions on Colleges. Accredited institutions must undergo a review every 10 years, which includes assessments of academic programs, student services and finances. Accreditation is required for colleges and universities to offer degree-granting programs and for students to be eligible for federal student aid. The association’s board of trustees reaffirmed EPCC’s accreditation without sanctions or findings on June 15, formally notifying the college on June 29, the school said in a news release. The accreditation extends to the entire institution, including its five campuses and Dual Credit, Early College High School and P-Tech sites, the release states. EPCC enrolls nearly 25,000 students in 154 degree and certificate programs.
Tommy Gonzalez Hired as Midland City Manager: Former El Paso City Manager Tommy Gonzalez, who was fired in February after nine years in the leadership role here, has been named the new city manager in Midland, Texas. His contract with the city of Midland is effective July 31 for a term of four-years on an “at-will” basis, and includes an annual salary of $350,000, according to a copy of the agreement obtained and published by the Midland Reporter-Telegram. Gonzalez, 56, was hired for the El Paso city manager position in 2014 with a starting salary of nearly $239,000. That climbed to about $442,000 in his often tumultuous tenure here. He leaves El Paso with a lucrative severance package of about $890,000. His last day of employment with the city of El Paso was June 29.
Horizon City Bonds: The Horizon City Council will consider whether to approve issuing up to $26 million in certificates of obligation – debt that doesn’t require voter approval – next month. The town council approved issuing a notice of intent to issue the debt on June 20. The bonds will pay for various street and park projects, a new transit plaza, and a new facility to house the police department, public works department, municipal court and council chambers. Another issuance of nearly $24.8 million would be required at a future date to complete the projects, Horizon City documents show. The meeting is at 6 p.m. Aug. 8 at the Horizon City Council Chambers, 15001 Darrington Road.