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Our Community Focus

Mayor's Message

Jan 01, 2021 08:46PM ● By Rob Schroder

Rob Schroder, Mayor of Martinez

After 10 ½ months, we may be seeing the end of the pandemic. Vaccines are being administered to health care workers, first responders, nursing home patients, and teachers. Most of the rest of us will need to wait as the vaccine continues to be manufactured and delivered. As I write this, we are still in a lockdown, with indoor and outdoor dining prohibited. I just hope that during this holiday season people took more precautions, socially distanced, and wore their masks. It is going to take all of us being respectful of each other and not just thinking of ourselves.


The City of Martinez has been working very closely with Main Street Martinez and the Martinez Chamber of Commerce to help small business in Martinez. Now that we are back in lockdown, the outdoor dining program is on hold, but retail can still operate with 20% capacity. In addition, there are several grant opportunities and other resources that can help the Martinez business community during this challenging time. Visit the city’s COVID-19 Small Business Resource Webpage:


The presidential election is finally over and the Martinez City Council has a new member, Brianne Zorn. Brianne has been a member of the Parks, Recreation, Marina, and Cultural Commission for about a year. Brianne was sworn in as the council member representing District 3 and will serve a term of four years. I look forward to working with Brianne and all council members as we come out of this pandemic and bring back the vibrancy of Martinez.


Noralea Gipner has retired from the council but will continue to be active in the community to make her hometown of Martinez a better place for all of us.  She will also continue to work tirelessly on homelessness through the Homeless Action Coalition.


Over these past many months, I have frequently reported that the city has negotiated with the company that makes the Big Belly refuse and recycling systems. These are receptacles that work very much like a mailbox; once an item is deposited in the box, it cannot be removed until a person with a key unlocks the system and empties the bins. This promotes recycling and reduces litter caused by individuals rummaging through the bins. I am happy to report that three of these systems were installed on Main Street today, and I look forward to the installation of many more.


For almost 12 years, Community Focus has informed the local community on what is going on their neighborhoods and cities. I have had the privilege of writing a monthly article as the mayor of Martinez for the last 10 years. This publication has filled a void in our communities due to the demise of local journalism. Unfortunately, Community Focus is now a casualty of this trend. It concerns me that Facebook and Instagram may be the only outlet for local news, accurate or not.


Thank you, Elena, Becky, Jennifer, and all who contributed to this amazing local publication.