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Concerns About City Manager Magda Gonzalez

Original post made by Hmmm, another community, on May 9, 2014

It has become apparent that E. Palo Alto City Manager Magda Gonzalez has done very real damage and caused problems in our city. I am posting this for thoughtful feedback and advice to many of the regulars who make intelligent, insightful comments. Apparently the city council has not completed their performance review of Gonzalez and her contract runs out in October. This is her first city manager role and it truly doesn't seem a good fit. Here are some of the lowlights of her tenure so far:

*She has interrupted the senior lunches delivered to our Senior Center. She has stated she wants to put her own people to work at the Senior Center.

*She has screwed up the search for a new police chief. Interim chiefs are fine, but so far, the city has gotten no where in looking for a permanent chief. This is due in large part to Gonzalez refusing to work collaboratively with her bosses, the city council.

*POA discussions with Gonzalez's office are rumored to be hit or miss, further eroding the trust between her office and the police depts.

*We can't forget her wanting to outsource police services without direction of the council.

*And finally, there is the Rent Stabilization Program debacle. Gonzalez has driven out an incredibly gifted, dedicated and ethical administrator due to her bias against rent control. Is she colluding with greed landlords? What are really the intentions of the audit? Well, now with the latest article, below, we learn that a tenants' rights group has requested info regarding this spurious audit (link at the end of this post).

All in all, Gonzalez seems to creating a LOT of problems. Her willful disregard for the law in her employee dealings, as attested to by Administrator Carol Lamont, and her disrespect toward the city council are intolerable and hallmarks of bad leadership. She is going to get East Palo Alto into really hot water if she's not stopped.

Web Link

Comments (3)

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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of another community
on May 21, 2014 at 3:59 pm

No one has commented on my post. Now that a couple of weeks have gone by, it's becoming clearer that Gonzalez is attempting to garner power via procedural changes and work around the various advisory boards who should NOT be cut out of issues relevant to them.

Can anyone in the know comment about Gonzalez, her agenda and her past in Redwood City? Was she really about to be fired when her position was eliminated?

I know many people in the county don't care about E. Palo Alto. But we are the last bastion of affordable housing, we have many involved people who have worked on civil rights for decades, we are attempting to balance sane development with improved quality of life without driving out the current residents. As is commonly unfortunate, it is rare to hear about all of the good things that happen in the city, and all of the good people who work professionally or volunteer with the residents, and live here, too. As a witness to those very many good people, it is appalling to watch someone who isn't even a resident have such a lousy impact on this city. She has her defenders - including the mayor. Hey - Mayor Laura Martinez - Magda's making you look bad. She's making the whole council look bad. You'll continue to look bad by giving her more and more power, to suit her own agenda. She does NOT care about the residents and the voters who put you in office.

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Posted by EPAMom
a resident of another community
on Jul 20, 2014 at 8:26 am

I agree with your analysis. Now that her contract will not be renewed, the question is, how will the search for a new City Manager be conducted in order to prevent hiring a similar person? Why can't EPA use preferential hiring for EPA residents? EPA is a particular community, rich and different from the surrounding cities. We need someone who understands and values its characteristics and that cannot be found by searching in the same manner as was done to hire Ms Gonzalez.

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Posted by Warlord Fleisch
a resident of another community
on Sep 23, 2014 at 4:23 pm

Now Magda is screwing up Half Moon Bay! This lady is a wrecking ball and California Cities can't seem to get enough self-destruction. She's PERFECT!

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