Thursday, June 2, 2011

Joyce Wilson Sees Streamlining as Key to El Paso's Success

City Manager Joyce Wilson recognizes Judy Gutierrez for 15 years of service to El Paso

"It's like pushing an elephant up the mountain," City Manager Joyce Wilson said as she described the burdensome rules and regulations that often hold down El Paso and its economy. "This is the most regulated environment I've ever been in," she told central El Paso residents who attended Council Representative Susie Byrd's monthly breakfast this morning at Tierra del Sol.

When it comes to delivering needed services within the restraints of a tough economy, Wilson is the expert as the past few years have well demonstrated. She intends to do more through streamlining department processes, being more customer-friendly and utilizing technology. The City Manager wants a growing economy but a safe and healthy economy as well.

Ms. Wilson recognizes the frustrations with business licenses and the 5th Floor of City Hall in general - frustrations voiced by many candidates in the current City Council elections. Wilson sees a need for offering multi-year licenses while discontinuing licenses for businesses such as shoe shining. She wants to cut back on inspections such as those on restaurants with proven good records while focusing more on those places of business with repeat offenses. Providing better cashier services and doing more business electronically are just two more ways to make doing business with the City more efficient and customer-friendly.

In addition, Wilson sees the need for constant feedback and evaluation. Even her own recent organizational changes are being evaluated for unintended structural consequences. The City will soon hire booking officers so that police will spend more time on the beat and less time with paper work. Just one booking officer means being able to afford 5 or 10 more full time police officers. The City is looking at more solo patrols and a "311" service to take on the bulk of the current 70-80,000 calls to 911 monthly!

Although Joyce Wilson does not see a major change in direction with a new City Council with 2 or 3 new members, she does see the need for that new Council to do more strategic planning especially in the light of even more cuts in funds from the State and the Federal governments. Maintaining the level of services and quality of life which El Pasoans expect becomes more difficult with the current financial restraints especially if nobody wants to raise taxes.

Representative Byrd was out of town so her Legislative Aide, Judy Gutierrez, hosted this morning's breakfast. Joyce Wilson surprised Judy by presenting to her a pin, certificate and letter recognizing Judy's 15 years of service to the City of El Paso. For 6 years Judy worked with the police department in 911 services. She then worked for 3 years in Economic Development where she became noticed by Mayor Caballero's assistant, Susie Byrd, who hired Gutierrez as her assistant after a brief phone conversation. Residents of District 2 have since benefited from Judy's service and Judy has become well-known, well-respected and much loved throughout the District and the City of El Paso.

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