Richmond Council Votes to Terminate City Manager

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Carlos Martinez. Photo by Mike Kinney.

Richmond City Coun­cil voted to terminate City Manager Carlos Martinez at Tuesday’s council meeting.

In a 4-3 vote during closed session, Councilmembers Eduardo Martinez, Demnlus Johnson III, Nat Bates and Melvin Willis voted in fa­vor of terminating Martinez. Mayor Tom Butt and Coun­cilmembers Ben Choi and Jael Myrick voted against the termination.

As a result of the vote, Ro­chelle Polk, the Community Services Director, has been named Interim City Man­ager.

Martinez, former City Manager of East Palo Alto, was selected as Richmond’s city manager in October 2018.

He quickly fell out of fa­vor with the leadership of Richmond’s unions, which accused him of unfair labor practices and which formed a coalition calling for his oust­er. Last month, union leaders held a rally outside City Hall accusing the City Manager of misrepresenting the city’s budget deficit and calling for layoffs of top managers after union leaders requested their first cost-of-living adjust­ment in four years.

Leaders and members of the city’s multiple unions, including those representing general employees as well as police and fire personnel, publicly spoke in favor of terminating Martinez prior to council’s vote Tuesday.

“The coalition of labor, the working people of our city, have come to the decision that we can no longer move forward in our present man­agement situation,” said Ben Therriault, president of the Richmond Police Officers Association.

According to Don Gos­ney, a city insider who runs Radio Free Richmond, Mar­tinez will receive a severance package with one year’s sala­ry and benefits. His five-year contract included $260,000 in annual salary and about $358,000 in total compensa­tion.

At the council meeting, Martinez did not make a statement about the decision to terminate. He did not re­turn outreach for comment.

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