Martinez Mayor's Message
Dec 07, 2014 11:56AM
● By Jennifer Neys
For the last several months, all of us have been enduring what many call the “silly season.” This is a time leading up to the November elections when elected officials are sometimes not quite themselves, and it seems as though local government slows down as the political rhetoric heats up. This season was particularly “silly,” with several candidates vying for city council and mayor.
Now that all of the votes have been counted and the political graffiti and blight have been removed from our streets and roads, we can get back to the business of moving Martinez forward. The first order of business for the new council will be to set aside their personal and political differences and concentrate on the duties that have been entrusted to them by the people of Martinez. There are some hurt feelings and personal grudges, but those need to be mended for the good of the community.
One of the most important actions the new council will be taking is the hiring of a new permanent city manager. Martinez has been without a permanent city manager for over a year, and we have been running the city with a series of interim managers, all of which have done amazing work in a very difficult political climate. The search firm that we hired to recruit a city manager has developed a list of extremely qualified and talented candidates. The city council will be holding interviews on December 15 and 16. Our goal is to choose a candidate and make an offer before the holidays arrive.
The next very important decision for the new city council will be the hiring of a permanent chief of police. In most cities, it is the city manager that hires the chief of police, but in Martinez the chief is an employee of the city council, just as is the city manager and the city attorney. All other city employees work for these three individuals.
It is my view that we should have a permanent city manager on board before we make a final decision on a chief of police. Now that the chief will be reporting directly to the city manager and not the city council (a change the city council made a few months ago), the new city manager needs to be part of this very important decision.
With the economy continuing to improve, we have a window of opportunity to accomplish many improvements in our community. Filling these two critical positions in our city government will allow us to get back to getting things done for Martinez.