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Arvin residents are demanding integrity from city officials

Community members came back to city hall on Tuesday sharing concerns over the Assistant City Manager position
Posted at 6:01 PM, Apr 10, 2024

ARVIN, Calif. (KERO) — Arvin residents are demanding city officials to be transparent and inform the public about the conversations regarding the city, for example, hiring an assistant city manager. We have been following this story since the beginning of the protests.

  • Video shows how community members came back to city hall on Tuesday sharing concerns over the assistant city manager position.
  • People first voiced their concerns about an assistant city manager position during the March 26th meeting where they stated that public officials should use those funds to improve the cities infrastructure.
  • That same day, council decided to move forward with the application process, posting the job online for 10 days—a window that has now expired.

BROADCAST TRANSCRIPT:

Transparency and inclusion are what Arvin residents are asking from city officials. I spoke with residents to see what's bringing them out to the council meeting—for the second consecutive time.

To recap, community members first raised their concerns about an assistant city manager position during the last meeting on March 26th, saying that salary should be used to address the city's infrastructure among other things.

"Our city is in terrible shape," said Arvin Resident, Salvador Moreno. "There is a huge amount of potholes in the streets, which a lot of people complain about because their tires get popped. And also, our parks are very dirty."

During the meeting on Tuesday, residents expressed they did not agree with the way public officials handled the situation, alleging—

"They were going to appoint an individual to this position behind closed doors. No one even knew that this position was available," explained Olivia Calderon, daughter of Arvin's late Mayor Olivia Trujillo.

After bringing this to their attention, the council moved forward with the application process, making it available to anyone to apply for the position online for 10 days.

Now that the window is closed, residents are back to remind city officials that they do not find it necessary to hire an assistant city manager.

"The City of Arvin does not need essentially two city managers, two people doing exactly the same work," said Calderon. "It would cost us over $500,000—that's half a million dollars for these two positions."

I spoke to Arvin City Manager Jeff Jones on March 27th, where he said the roles are far from duplicate.

Neighborhood News Reporter Priscilla Lara interviewing Arvin City Manager Jeff Jones back in March. Jones says an Assistant City Manager is needed to help run the city.
Neighborhood News Reporter Priscilla Lara interviewing Arvin City Manager Jeff Jones back in March. Jones says an Assistant City Manager is needed to help run the city.

"Right now, the City of Arvin really has nobody at the top--it's myself and the police chief, so I'm looking for additional help at the management level to keep the city running," said Jones.

But even if the council decides to fill the position, Calderon, like many residents ask the council to be public about it.

"If you want to hire people, go out there and make it so that qualified people can apply to our city. Remember these are our tax dollars," stated Calderon.

The next City Council Meeting is on Tuesday, April 23rd where council members will conduct a performance evaluation.


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