Wilson won't say yet whether she's taking Florida job

EL PASO, Texas - Could this be the end for Joyce Wilson as El Paso's first city manager?

Commissioners in Lee County, Florida, voted unanimously Tuesday to offer Wilson the position of County Manager.

ABC-7 talked for several minutes with Wilson after Tuesday's City Council meeting at City Hall. She would not say whether or not she will accept the position, but did confirm she will discuss the offer with Lee County officials.

"If the negotiations work out, then I'll come back to the Mayor and Council and let everybody know," Wilson said. "But at this point, I haven't talked to anyone. That's all I'm gonna say."

But Wilson, who has been El Paso's only City Manager since it adopted that form of government back in 2004 and was under contract through 2014, stuck around to answer a couple more questions.

ABC-7 asked Wilson what the chances were that she would take the job.

"The reality of it is, at some point I'm gonna leave here," Wilson said. "Whether it's now or a year from now when my contract expires and so this is an opportunity that I'm moving forward with and continue to pursue."

ABC-7 also asked Wilson if some of the recent happenings at City Hall sped up her desire to leave.

"No, not really," she said. "It just sort of came along and the timing is really coincidental. Frankly, this is the first job interview I've had since this job interview, which was a surprise. But it's kind of flattering."

Some City Council members are worried about her possible early departure.

"Here's what I'm concerned about," City Rep. Susie Byrd said. "Joyce has decisions to make, the Council has decisions to make. I'm particularly concerned about the ballpark and I think also about the bond projects. I want to make sure the change in management and political leadership don't change outcomes in our community."

Others didn't seem as concerned.

"I think we have plenty of experience here in the City of El Paso and the organization," City Rep. Emma Acosta said. "I think any of the deputy city managers could step in and take over."

Byrd went as far as suggesting city leaders could ask Wilson to "stay on a little longer" just to make sure there is a smooth transition, if she does accept the job in Florida. Acosta is confident whatever Wilson decides city business will proceed uninterrupted.

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