El Paso City Manager Joyce Wilson Still Getting Bashed Over Emails [OPINION]
City Manager Joyce Wilson went through what most of us have to do on a yearly basis yesterday – she had her employee evaluation.
But her evaluation this year was colored by snarky emails that were released by opponents of the Triple A ballpark in which Wilson said a couple of city reps seemd to suffer from dementia, and ballpark opponents were quote, “crazies”. Mayor John Cook said the private emails factored into Wilson’s evaluation, but wouldn’t discuss her evaluation further because it was a personnel issue, and it was time to move on. I agree.
Unfortunately, out-going Congressman Silvestre Reyes doesn’t feel the same. He waited until Monday – a day before Wilson’s well publicized evaluation - to write a letter to Cook saying he was “disconcerted” about an email thread between Wilson and City Rep. Steve Ortega. The email thread happened back in March, eight months ago! Why did you wait so long to bring it up, Congressman?
The topic of the thread was a news conference that Reyes and Cook held discussing their work on shortening wait times at the bridges. Wilson wrote, “Interesting how he’s pushing so hard right now. Must really feel threatened.” Ortega agreed and called the news conference a campaign ploy. He also said that Reyes was feeling threatened and he was going to lose his race to former city rep. Beto O’Rourke. He did, and O’Rourke ultimately won Reyes seat last month.
In his letter to Cook on Monday, Reyes said that while they were talking about the bridges, Wilson and Ortega were “engaged in political activity, cheerleading… their preferred candidate, apparently during work hours and using City resources.”
Whatever, Congressman Reyes.
I’m sure there are emails on your Congressional email address in which you discuss your opponent. Wilson and Ortega weren’t “engaged in political activity”. They weren’t talking about how they were going to help O’Rourke defeat you, they were doing what every other voter in El Paso was doing – speculating about the timing of your news conference. If they were discussing campaign strategy, or telling other employees to vote against you, then by all means, nail them to the wall.
It was also no secret that they were supporters of O’Rourke. “Cheerleading” implies that they were trying to drum up support for O’Rourke. They weren’t – they were both squarely in O’Rourke’s court and weren’t trying to sway anyone’s opinion of you or O’Rourke.
Many times, conversational emails on a work account are exchanged because the emailers aren’t in the same room. There is nothing nefarious here, nor is there anything illegal. If there was, you wouldn’t have taken the, “Mayor, Joyce and Steve are being mean to me!”, route. You would have held another news conference with the FBI, the police, and the DA, and blown the lid off their illegal activities. Instead, you chose to use your final days in office to try and stab a political opponent in the back with your poison pen in a whiny letter. If you had such a problem with their “disconcerting” behavior, you should have gone to the media, not snuck around at the last moment to try and tank the careers of two people who have committed no crime, and who have apologized repeatedly for their unprofessional conduct.
Bitter, party of one, Congressman Reyes?