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January 12th, 2009 by Temple City Tribune
Despite much speculation to the contrary, Temple City council members voted last Tuesday not to begin the process of replacing Charles Martin, the city’s 84-year-old City Manager
Councilman Fernando Vizcarra, who initially brought forward the motion to replace Martin, was only able to persuade one other council member in the vote, with Judy Wong voting with him to begin the process, while David Capra, Kenneth Gillanders and Mayor Cathé Wilson voted against the motion.
Councilman Capra sighted two reasons for delaying the start of a search for a new city manager. Namely, that Martin himself has already insinuated that he may be approaching a self-imposed retirement in the near future, and that the city might have trouble hiring a new City Attorney – an office Martin also fills in addition to his duties as city manager, due to the ongoing legal entanglement with Randy Wang, developer of the beleaguered Piazza mall project.
Wang has accused three council members of requesting cash donations to their reelection campaigns as well as free condominiums in the new development in order to ensure the city’s cooperation throughout all the stages of the development. The charges are in countersuit to a complaint filed by the city against Mr. Wang for failing to keep the project on schedule as agreed upon in the terms of the development agreement.
What’s more, Capra pointed out that with new city council elections just around the corner, the current council may be just as well suited to leave the decision over to the new, incoming council members. “You’re only talking about two and a half months,” Capra said at the Tuesday council meeting.