Tommy Gonzalez was appointed City Manager of El Paso, Texas, in June 2014. As City Manager, Mr. Gonzalez leads the 20th largest city in the United States. Mr. Gonzalez is a results-oriented, strategic leader with approximately three decades of management experience in the public sector; with some experience in the private sector. Currently, he oversees a budget of $1 billion in operations and $1 billion in capital expenditures; while leading more than 6,000 employees.
In 2019 and again in 2020, Mr. Gonzalez led his team in making national history, as the City of El Paso became the largest municipality to earn the Texas Award for Performance Excellence from the Texas Quality Foundation two years in a row. The City has also won the All-America City (AAC) Award in 2018 and 2020, and was named an AAC finalist in 2019. Under Mr. Gonzalez’s leadership, the City of El Paso has been able to achieve $90 million in cost savings. He has also revamped the City’s budgeting process by reducing cycle time from four months, to three weeks, to a one-day budget session. Mr. Gonzalez has further steered El Paso toward financial stability by eliminating a $7.8 million deficit, increasing the fund balance by over $20 million, assembling a team that inherited 21 external audit findings and zeroed out those findings to zero for four years in a row. Additionally, under Mr. Gonzalez’s tenure, the City has maintained its double AA financial rating by improving accuracy in revenue and expenditure estimates, providing year-end reporting to the City Council, and five consecutive years of General Fund surplus.
In addition to his strong financial stewardship, Mr. Gonzalez has extensive experience in quality and performance excellence initiatives. He serves as an expert resource on transformational change within organizations. Mr. Gonzalez received national recognition when awarded the 2019 Baldrige Foundation Leadership Excellence Award in the Government sector by the Malcom Baldrige Foundation in Washington, D.C. The award recognizes role-model leaders in their field. Mr. Gonzalez also received the 2019 United States-Mexico Chamber of Commerce Border City Leadership Award. He received this recognition for his leadership and commitment for growing a dynamic economic development that El Paso has experienced in recent years, which has improved job growth and wage increases, while maintaining healthy public finances and ongoing partnerships with Mexican public and private sector entities; making the El Paso-Juarez region a top trade location in North America.
Mr. Gonzalez is also working with community partners by sharing best practices, the Baldrige-based framework, and public engagement strategies with local school districts, the county hospital, a private hospital, county administration, the housing authority, and other nonprofit groups through the Communities of Excellence framework. The Communities of Excellence program is designed to serve multiple organizations by improving El Paso’s quality of life, healthcare, and education. During fiscal year 2019, approximately 400 students were trained on the City’s budget resulting in a final presentation by 10 students to the City Council on the City’s $1 billion budget.
In March 2019, Mr. Gonzalez was asked to serve a second term as chair of the Quality Texas Foundation Board of Directors. In April 2019, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott reappointed Mr. Gonzalez to the Risk Management Board for a term expiring in February 2023. He also serves as a member of the Governing Texas Advisory Board, U.S. Global Leadership Texas Advisory Board, Association of the United States Army, and the 2026 Communities of Excellence National Board.
Prior to working in El Paso, Mr. Gonzalez served as City Manager in the City of Irving, Texas. Under his leadership, the City of Irving earned the Texas Award for Performance Excellence from the Texas Quality Foundation. The City of Irving also won the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award; the nation’s highest Presidential honor for performance excellence. Mr. Gonzalez retired as a Lieutenant Colonel after serving 22 years in the U.S. Army. He holds a Masters of Public Administration degree from Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, and a Bachelor of Science degree from Eastern New Mexico University in Portales, New Mexico. He received the Eastern New Mexico University's Outstanding Alumni Award and the Texas Tech Distinguished Alumni Award. He is a certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt from the University of Texas in Austin.