Irving’s city manager will step down at the end of this year after a vote at Thursday night's city council meeting.
Residents at the meeting voiced their opinions to council members about City Manager Tommy Gonzalez before they voted.
In a 5-3 vote, the Irving City Council decided to extend Gonzalez’s current contract to Oct. 1, after that date, he will serve as a transitional consultant until Dec. 31. The decision comes after months of speculation over whether or not Gonzalez will continue to work for the city.
The council met until almost midnight.
City Council member Rose Cannaday said the amended employment contract for Gonzalez came after a lot of discussion.
“This was what Tommy Gonzalez had after some negotiating back and forth and felt was fair,” Cannaday said.
Gonzalez was appointed city manager of Irving on April 6, 2006.
The new contract includes a section about Gonzalez’s loan from the city in the amount of $150,000 in 2009. The city says Gonzalez will not need to pay back that money.
“He was be given forgiveness for the housing loan that was made to him in 2009. And no further housing assistance grant will be issued,” said Melissa Cranford with the City Attorney’s Office.
Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne said she was voting against the new agreement because it would reflect badly on the city.
“I think for developers to know that you’re only going to have a manager here it’s not even really eight months, it’s ‘til October 1st, I think is sending the wrong message, and I think it’s very difficult to move forward in those situations,” Van Duyne said.
Gonzalez could still receive a much debated severance package if city council terminates his contract prior to Dec. 31. Council member Mike Galloway said the amount is nowhere near the speculated amount of up to $500,000.
“I know there has been a rumor out there in the community that there was going to be a big severance pay out or anything like that. Obviously you heard from the comments earlier [Thursday] evening that is not happening,” Galloway said.