Piñon becomes Cal City’s interim city manager

Steven Virgen, 23ABC


  • In this video, Martín Piñon talks about becoming Cal City’s fifth city manager in the past year.
  • Martín Piñon says he’s not intimidated by the frequent turnover at the city manager position or the workload.


When it comes to city managers in California City, the desert town is trying and trying again.

I’m Steve Virgen your Cal City neighborhood reporter.

Martín Piñon has become the fifth city manager in the past year.

“Why the individuals left and didn’t stay, I don’t know the reasons behind that but … to me that doesn’t intimidate me at all. I’m kind of challenged and interested in working these things through,” Piñon said.

Piñon plans to help Cal City with their myriad of issues.

He takes over for Michele Martinez, who resigned last week after two months because she said she was concerned for her safety.

Mayor Kelly Kulikoff says there’s an active investigation to prevent other problems.

He realizes the huge challenges of the job as city manager.

“It sometimes can be overwhelming for city managers. I can’t dive deep into why they don’t stay … In California City, you have problems everywhere you look. You walk out the door and you’re bombarded by people with problems. People stop the city manager for everything here,” Kulikoff said.

Piñon is a 65-year-old retiree who will be paid just over $86 per hour as a retired annuitant employee.

He last worked as a human resources director in Desert Hot Springs.

He said he plans to gain temporary housing in Cal City.

“My primary goal right now is to learn as much as I can, absorb everything that’s going on, understand the challenges that they have, and hopefully prioritize some of those challenges. And, begin digging in and addressing each one of them as individuals,” Piñon said.

There are still plans to hire a permanent city manager and a deputy city manager.

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Steven Virgen, 23ABC www.turnto23.com

2024-01-10 04:04:46 , News

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