City manager leaving — another top-level vacancy in East Palo Alto city government

Jaime Fontes

Daily Post Staff Writer

East Palo Alto is without a police chief, city clerk, city attorney and in May won’t have a city manager.

City Manager Jaime Fontes announced yesterday that he will complete his contract that’s up on April 30, and will then “transition to other career opportunities.”

The council has met in closed session a handful of times over the past few months to discuss Fontes’ employment, but council has not reported anything publicly as the result of those discussions.

He was hired in 2019 and given a three-year contract. His annual pay was $220,000 in 2020.

In a letter to Mayor Ruben Abrica, Fontes pointed out some highlights he’s achieved during his tenure — getting city vaccination rates (which were among the lowest in the region) up to the county’s average, made it through Covid without laying off any employees and getting the city’s reserves to $25.4 million.

On Dec. 9, the council voted 3-2 to accept City Clerk Walfred Solorzano’s resignation and to pay him $38,068.87 plus any remaining salary he was owed. Councilmen Ruben Abrica and Carlos Romero both voted no on the settlement agreement.

Last month, City attorney Rafael Alvarado resigned to take the same job across the Bay in Fremont. In December, Police Chief Al Pardini retired.

The council has approved for search firms to look for Pardini and Alvarado’s replacement.


  1. If the city council met several times to discuss the city manager’s performance and they didn’t announce they were renewing his contract, they’re letting his contract run out. He didn’t resign, even if he’s pretending he did. It’s silly to report something that isn’t true.
    He’s also not responsible for the good vaccination record.

  2. Hi Melissa, do you have reading comprehension difficulties? The story says Fontes will complete his contract that’s up on April 30th and move on. How you missed that, I don’t know. Get some help.

    • Observer, your inability to observe is clear. I never said he wasn’t going to finish out his contract. I said he didn’t resign, as was reported. His job is ending because the council didn’t want to renew his contract and that is very different from resigning.

  3. Mr Fontes was a great man and did amazing things while we went shelter in place. Council definitely didn’t want to renew his contract. Otherwise why would you wait until March to announce it? If you know politics!
    I think they should keep him and let council people who did nothing but stayed in their houses during shelter in place including other “management” people who was never seeing in the city. I am an EPA resident and speaking as a volunteer and someone who cares for the community not for a paycheck only.
    They better put someone who cares for the city in his place.
    Politics at its best!

    • It’s really nice to read supportive comment. It’s good to know there are people who appreciate Fontes and had direct interactions. I understand he was working during difficult times and in 2020 when Regina Wallace-Jones was mayor she failed East Palo Alto by her lack of leadership during Covid. But Fontes is responsible for a lot of problems with the vaccine program and other internal issues. Other staff seem to be on the ball.

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