El Paso County Commissioner Pct. 1

August 2015 - Posts

County Commissioner Leon’s 1st Annual Blood Drive

County Commissioner Carlos Leon held his 1st Annual Blood Drive/Health Fair yesterday, August 27, 2015, at the El Paso County Eastside Annex. Commissioner Leon wants to thank everyone who came together to make the 1st annual blood drive a success by surpassing our goal and adding 43 blood donations to our local supply.


The Blood Drive will benefit United Blood Services, which supplies area hospitals with the lifesaving blood our community depends on. On August 26, 2009 Commissioner Leon himself depended on volunteer blood donors following a serious motorcycle accident in Mesilla, New Mexico, which nearly ended his life. After receiving several blood transfusions and undergoing multiple surgeries, Commissioner Leon made a significant recovery, and today wants to give back to the community and help ensure there is blood available when needed.


Donors visited with representatives from University Medical Center, Texas Tech, Smile Magic, El Paso Diabetes Association, Desert Imaging and were treated to free breakfast provided by Taco Bell.


Commissioner Leon Recognizes August 17th-21st 2015 as “David L. Carrasco Job Corps Week”

On the morning of August 10, 2015 during commissioners court, Commissioner Carlos Leon recognized the week of August 17th-21st 2015 as “David L. Carrasco Job Corps Week” in El Paso County.


Job Corps is a no-cost education and career technical training program administered by the US Department of Labor that helps young people ages 16 through 24 improve the quality of their lives through career technical and academic training.


The center opened in 1970 in downtown El Paso as the El Paso Job Corps Center. In 1979, the center moved to a larger five-acre campus on the east side of El Paso. In 1991, the center name was changed to honor David L. Carrasco, who served as the center's first director for over twenty years.

Commissioner Leon Speaks for the Texas Citizen Police Academy Alumni Association

On Tuesday, August 4, 2015, Commissioner Leon had the privilege to speak for the Texas Citizen Police Academy Alumni Association.


Texas Citizen Police Academy Alumni Association


The mission of the Texas Citizen Police Academy Alumni Association is to assist and educate the various Citizen Police Academy Alumni Associations within the State of Texas to better serve their communities by more effectively partnering with and supporting the law enforcement agencies in their area.

Commissioner Carlos Leon Criticizes UMC CEO on Comments

By Aileen B. Flores / El Paso Times / Follow @AileenBFlores

El Paso Times Posted: 08/02/2015 04:44:22 PM MDT

University Medical Center President and CEO Jim Valenti, right, addresses county commissioners Wednesday. Chief Financial Officer Michael Nunez is at

University Medical Center President and CEO Jim Valenti, right, addresses county commissioners Wednesday. Chief Financial Officer Michael Nunez is at center, and Board President Steve DeGroat is at left. (VICTOR CALZADA — EL PASO TIMES)

University Medical Center of El Paso CEO Jim Valenti angered a county commissioner by saying during a recent meeting that last year's layoffs at the hospital were used to oust poor performers.

Valenti and his staff presented UMC's proposed budget to Commissioners Court on July 29, when Commissioner Carlos Leon asked whether UMC might rehire some of the 56 people the county hospital laid off last year. UMC is projecting some growth for the coming fiscal year.

"Those areas were in support departments and administrative, and quite frankly, when you look at those and size up the actual persons that left, and I don't want to be crass about it, but I want to say that a good third of it were on disciplinary measures that you don't want back," Valenti said.

But in a letter sent to UMC employees announcing the layoffs on July 25, 2014, Valenti said the layoffs had nothing to do with job performance.

"Please know that this action is in no way a reflection of your work. Each of you has contributed so much to our incredible transformation during the last decade," Valenti wrote.

Valenti didn't return calls for comment. UMC spokesman Ryan Mielke declined to comment about Valenti's remarks about the layoffs.

Leon, who last year said he had lost trust in Valenti, in a Friday interview with the El Paso Times sharply criticized the CEO for his recent remarks. He said it was unacceptable for Valenti to refer to some laid-off employees as "subpar."

"I don't understand his lack of honesty when dealing with the Commissioners Court, and shame on him that he has said that about his own employees," Leon said.

"Why are you going to embarrass employees in public? As every decent manager knows, always praise employees in public and reprimand them in private," Leon continued. "Was he lying to me last year, or was he lying to me this week? I'm just very disappointed at him, again."

The layoffs came as bonuses for Valenti and other top administrators came into question.

Leon said his distrust in Valenti grew in August 2014, when the hospital CEO sent Leon an email stating that neither he nor his staff would be receiving bonuses that year.

However, only four months after the layoffs when UMC officials claimed that the hospital was going through tough economic times, the hospital board awarded Valenti a $120,000 bonus. Valenti gave other executives bonuses totaling $180,000.

During UMC's budget presentation to commissioners, Leon told Valenti to be mindful of bonuses.

For the proposed 2016 fiscal budget, UMC is expected to award almost $4 million in bonuses — $1.7 million more than the current year.

According to an incentive analysis provided by UMC to Commissioners Court, the main growth in the incentive amount is due to $1.6 million in incentives budgeted for the doctors at the new neighborhood clinics.

A breakdown on the individual bonus amounts and who might receive them was not immediately available.

University Medical Center of El Paso's proposed budget for the 2016 fiscal year is about

$587 million, an increase of about 6 percent over the current year. The budget must first be approved by the UMC board of managers as well as Commissioners Court. It would become effective Oct. 1.