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California City's interim city manager resigns, 10 weeks into the job

Martinez, who proposed to add a new deputy city manager, says she's concerned for her safety and steps down as interim city manager
Posted at 6:18 PM, Jan 03, 2024
  • In this video, California City Mayor Kelly Kulikoff says it's unfortunate that there is harassment from special interest groups onto city officials.
  • Michele Martinez steps down as interim city manager.


Michele Martinez has resigned as California City's interim city manager – a mere 10 weeks into the job.

I'm Steve Virgen your Cal City neighborhood reporter.

The announcement comes one day after 23 ABC aired an interview with Martinez... where she talked about the huge demand the job requires.

"Unfortunately we have a lot of harassment by special interests against city officials, so it's nothing new. Sometimes it just gets out of hand," said Kelly Kulikoff, Cal City's Mayor.

Martinez is concerned about her safety and well being, she told city staff in an email Tuesday night, when she resigned.

She did not want to be interviewed Wednesday and provided a statement.

It read: "I made a tough call to resign from my role as the interim city manager of California City. Although it was a challenging decision to make, recent circumstances have unequivocally emphasized the importance of prioritizing my personal safety and well-being.

In order to ensure a smooth transition, I am fully committed to assisting the mayor and council. They can rely on my support as the city welcomes a potential new deputy city manager this Friday and soon after a permanent city manager.

Martinez had asked for help and approval came for a deputy city manager. She had said the role was too much for one person, dealing with cannabis, waste and water among other issues.

She is Cal City's seventh city manager within the past two years.

City Attorney Victor Ponto will take over city manager duties until a deputy city manager is hired.

City council has scheduled a closed special meeting on Friday.

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