Another high-level departure is afoot in troubled Santa Clara.
Last week, City Manager Julio Fuentes announced his resignation, effective May 31. The city’s top executive said he wishes to return to Southern California and is considering possible retirement. Fuentes’ decision comes three years after his initial hiring and less than a month after the city’s mayor, Jamie Mathews, abruptly resigned.
“I think the wheels are coming off the train right now. I wonder what’s next,” said Deborah Bress of local citizens’ watchdog group, Santa Clara Plays Fair. “We have a city that used to be very open and friendly to its citizens that isn’t.”
City Hall has been rocked by significant turmoil as of late. A grand jury investigation into the finances of the Santa Clara Stadium Authority which runs Levi’s Stadium is currently underway. Meanwhile, the city is probing allegations of racial discrimination and a hostile work environment brought by Fuentes. The city manager had also been clashing with Lisa Gillmor, who recently took over as mayor.
In light of Fuentes’ departure, the city will “move forward in an open and transparent way,” Gillmor said. Neither she nor Fuentes would comment on the feud or either of the pending investigations.
Read more about Fuentes’ resignation here.