EL PASO, Texas (CBS4) — Good quality of life means investing money, said El Paso City Manager Tommy Gonzalez in regard to the 2020 city budget.
"When everybody else in the State of Texas has better, we deserve better! You should be pissed about deserving better," said Gonzalez in an interview with the media Monday morning.
Gonzalez said funding for the fire and police departments should be prioritized in the new budget.
"You want more police officers, you want to pay for these collective agreements, you want your streets repaired, you want better parks," said Gonzalez.
The city manager said El Pasoans should be prepared to pay more for a better quality of life.
"We’re going to do what needs to get done next year. People get to vote on it. If they don’t vote on it, they’ll say regional water parks are going to be closed," said Gonzalez.
Gonzalez is standing by the work he has done, such as bringing spray parks and the upcoming city water parks.
"If you won’t play by my salary at that time next summer next year when they vote on that, if you want to get rid of that then fine. I’ll go somewhere else, but you won’t have this leadership and place," said Gonzalez.
He also referenced bad decisions on what he considered are bad decisions by the former administration. CBS4 attempted contacting former city manager Joyce Wilson for comment, but was unable to reach her.
"In San Jacinto, you remember all about that? About how late that was? It’s cause they hired someone who hadn’t put a park like that together. I showed up, and I hear all of these complaints. Did you hear any complaints about it now? It’s because we got a hold of it. It’s probably the best celebration in Texas now. It used to be the worst. I’m sorry, I’m not being ugly, it was a nastiest worst, pitiful celebration mismatched colors in Cleveland Square. Do you remember that?" said Gonzalez.
Gonzalez also listed iFly and Top Golf as some new venues to come to El Paso. But he added he wants El Paso to get more. He referred to the college town of Lubbock having Main Event. The venue has party rooms offering bowling, laser tag, mini-golf, an arcade and American fare, according to its website.
“Lubbock is a third of our size, that's where I was born and raised. That should piss you off that they're not here so that's what gets me up in the morning in El Paso cause I stay pissed off on things that people don't understand,” said Gonzalez
Gonzalez also referred to spending money on reconstruction associated with the drainage system.
He said the taxpayers should be prepared to pay more to fix the infrastructure.
The proposed tax increase is approximately $83 more per year for the average home owner. City council will vote to overturn the mayor's veto on the budget on Tuesday.
Below are the comments made by Gonzalez when discussing the budget.