East Palo Alto Has a New City Manager
A new city manager has taken the helm in East Palo Alto.
Former Greenfield city manager Jaime Fontes was hired by the city council last month. The vote was 4-0. His first day on the job was Wednesday.
"I believe that East Palo Alto can become a regional leader in terms of economic development and sustainable finance but the kind that supports a multicultural and multilingual community in terms of public safety, public health, education, housing and infrastructure,” he told the council.
Fontes has extensive experience with real estate, wastewater treatment, and cannabis policy development. Before serving as Greenfield’s city manager, he worked for Nogales — where he oversaw an impressive fiscal transformation — as well as Santa Paula. His resume also includes stints as a real estate coordinator for the San Diego Public Works Department, CEO for the Economic Development Authority on the Tohono O'Odham Nation in Arizona, and real estate manager and assistant planning chief for Maricopa County, Arizona. He holds a bachelor's degree from Arizona State University and a doctorate of law from Western State University College of Law.
Fontes’ tenure in public administration has not been without controversy. He was fired from his last job in Greenfield and is now suing the city for wrongful termination. Fontes says he was ordered to fire the city’s community services director because of opposition to cannabis developments on the part of the mayor and city council members. The former community services director is also suing Greenfield.
Read more about Jaime Fontes at Palo Alto Online.