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Service reductions East Palo Alto is losing city manager

By Henrietta J. Burroughs
East Palo Alto Today
Written on September 21, 2009


It came out of the blue in the form of an exchange that lasted only one minute and 28 seconds. If one weren’t paying close attention, it would have been easy to miss. But as short as it was, the announcement was something of a bombshell, since it carried major repercussions for the City of East Palo Alto.

It started out as a routine "Reports Out of Closed Session" presentation during the East Palo Alto City Council meeting on September 15. In speaking about the second item on the report, East Palo Alto's Mayor Ruben Abrica stated that the City Manager Alvin James and the city council engaged in contract negotiations in a closed session prior to the night's meeting. Abrica said that James' current employment contract expires on October 19, but James and the council did not reach an agreement during the negotiations. Abrica then invited James to make a statement.

It was not clear whether James had thought long and hard beforehand about what he would say depending on the outcome of the contract negotiations, but James lost no time in reaffirming what the mayor said and then he dropped his bombshell.

"I have since decided to pursue some other interests -- one of which is retirement...in all that comes with it. So, there is not a lot to say other than the fact that it has been interesting, educational, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera," James said. He then sat back with a big smile on his face.

Needless to say, the rumor mills are going, wih residents calling each other asking, "Did you hear that?"

To see a videoclip of the exchange go here or click the picture below.





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