Lee County chooses Joyce Wilson for manager; negotiations start

EL PASO, Texas - Lee County commissioners in Florida voted 5-0 the morning of June 11 to enter into negotiations with El Paso City Manager Joyce Wilson for the county manager job.

Lee County commissioners on June 5 picked Wilson as their consensus No. 1 choice to become their county manager after interviewing five candidates.

Lee County's spokeswoman said Wilson was the No. 1 pick for four of the five commissioners after interviewing her alst week. Roger Desjarlais is their No. 2 choice.

Seventy people had applied for the job since it was posted in late March.

The Lee County website does not state how much the county manager would be paid other than to state "the salary range is open and dependent upon qualifications, with a competitive benefits package. The starting salary will be based upon the knowledge and experience of the individual selected."

The last Lee County county manager had a salary of $170,000 a year. Wilson currently earns about $227,000 as city manager.

Wilson was hired as El Paso's first city manager in 2004 after a charter amendment vote to create a city manager position to run the city along with City Council. Her contract ends on Sept. 30, 2014.

Wilson has been selected as the state's Top Public Works Leader for 2013 by the Texas Chapter of the American Public Works Association (TPWA). The recognition honors individuals for excellence in their career-long achievements, expertise, service and dedication to improving the quality of life in the communities they serve.

Lee County has about 2,300 employees and an Fiscal Year 2012/2013 countywide budget of $1.76 billion, including both reserves and a General Fund operating budget of $457 million. Since the FY2007-08 budget, the County has had an overall reduction of 14% in staff and a $650 million reduction in the budget. The Lee County website states the county is historically fiscally conservative.

Wilson's resume states she is a "Nationally recognized leader with over 25 years of extensive local government management experience at senior management and executive levels. Experience working in demographically diverse areas and bi-national settings. Specific areas of expertise include exemplary fiscal management and high-performance, customer-focused service delivery, community capacity building, internal and external communications, economic development and community revitalization. Demonstrated oversight of significant infrastructure investments in rapid growth communities, as well as those experiencing substantial economic decline."

Mayor John Cook declined in April to give Wilson another evaluation under the current City Council. Wilson's last evluation was released in mid-December and made mention of items that she needed to work on.

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