Can you imagine if your employer threatened to fire you because you used your own money to legally by a house? It's a real life situation for El Paso's city manager and you can read the BS HERE.
Yes, you read that right - Tommy Gonzalez bought a home outside of Dallas and now the El Paso Times, Rep. Claudia Ordaz and Rep. Cortney Niland think he should be executed in the unfinished plaza downtown.
Let's lay out some facts here.
- Gonzalez is renting in El Paso because most city managers do not purchase homes in the city they are working because their contracts tend to be under five years and then they move on. It's a dumb move to tie up a ton of cash in a mediocre housing market if you know you're not staying very long. Gonzalez does not currently claim a homestead in El Paso on his rent house because he can't.
- A government entity (or a private one for that matter) can't force anyone to purchase real property in order to secure a job. Gonzalez domiciles in within the city limits, which is what the contract requires. For Niland and Ordaz to suggest that Gonzalez is in any way in violation of his contract is to slander him and they should be held personally liable for damages. I'm sure Gonzalez's lawyer agrees.
- Even if Gonzalez has a homestead exemption on this house - it's not outside the law for him to do so. He only owns one house in Texas and like many Texans - he can take the homestead exemption.
- The law says you get the homestead exemption if you use the house as your principal residence on January 1 of that year. That means there's no legal way that Tommy Gonzalez could have a homestead exemption on a house he purchased in February - he did not occupy the house on January 1. Read the rules HERE.
So the El Paso Times is flat out making things up or they're just too dumb to know the rules. It's clearly harassment and it's actionable in a civil court. What jury is going to sympathize with Niland and Ordaz who want to deny a man the dream of owning a home?
This is just plain bullshit and I think you guys should be questioning the competency of your representatives. Why does El Paso want the reputation as a place where you can't purchase real property unless your elected officials personally approve the transaction?
Where was Niland when the former city manager purchased a second home in Florida whole that city manager was actively interviewing for jobs in Florida? Where was the newspaper? If you have a problem with one city manager purchasing a home outside of El Paso, you have to have a problem with the other one doing it as well. Come to think of it, the former city manager never had her personal finances probed - why are they so interested in the current city manager's finances?
I also know that someone is going to mention that the city manager's wife doesn't want their kids to go to high school in El Paso. After they just arrested five educators in El Paso, do you blame them? There's nothing in his contract requiring his wife and kids to be in El Paso. As long as he's at work when he's supposed to be, that's all that counts.
I have a new motto for El Paso "Comes to El Paso, we'll make your life a living hell if you're not corrupt enough for the elected officials."
Shame on the El Paso Times and shame on Ordaz and Niland for step on this man's basic privilege of purchasing real property. What an unAmerican thing to do.