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Six people want Martinez Mayor Rob Schroder’s job. Three of them are already his colleagues on the City Council. Another used to be.
Schroder is retiring after first getting elected to the council the same year Bill Clinton won his second presidential term, then having served as mayor since 2002. Other council members Lara DeLaney, Mark Ross, and Brianne Zorn; former mayor and council member Mike Menesini, city planning commissioner Sean Trambley, and resident Michael Ayers are all vying for the position.
DeLaney has been on the council for two decades and is also a senior deputy administrator for Contra Costa County.
On her campaign website, DeLaney says she wants to strengthen the city’s revitalization and support small businesses. She wants to “move forward with the marina, once and for all,” meaning overhauling the fishing pier with new amenities for boaters and more restaurants and entertainment.
She also says it is time to bring the proposed Joe DiMaggio museum to life.
DeLaney also wants to develop and maintain parks and open space and rebuild the city’s workforce and restore confidence in City Hall.
“We need to re-open City Hall to full-time hours and get back to full strength, especially our police,” she said.
Like Schroder, Ross was first elected to the council in 1996. A realtor, he has also served as a director with the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.
On his campaign site, Ross touts the city’s $10 million reserve and takes credit for helping increase work on the city’s roads and renovating city parks. Ross is a vocal proponent of open space and championed keeping the 297-acre Alhambra Highlands as open space rather than development.
“I will make sure Martinez continues to be among the top 50 safest cities in California, while enhancing a progressive police force,” Ross says on his site.
Zorn was elected to the council two years ago. A wetlands scientist, her campaign site counts among her accomplishments adopting an independent redistricting commission, supporting the Alhambra Highlands ballot measure, helping implement the Nights on Main program, approving funding for marina dredging and emergency repairs to the pier, and helping to guide the city’s general plan update.
“As the mayor, I will set the tone for a united, forward-thinking city council willing to make proactive decisions for improving quality of life in Martinez.”
Former mayor Menesini works as a prosecutor in the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office. On his website, the former San Jose police officer and Vietnam veteran counts among his accomplishments on the council as helping protect the Briones Agricultural Preserve and the Franklin Hills ridgeline, facilitating the inclusion of Mt. Wanda into the John Muir National Historic Site, and rebuilding the city’s water treatment plant, city hall, senior center, and train station.
Menesini says on his site that he wants to be mayor again because “Martinez is at a crossroads. The current city malaise, reflected by an out-of-control homeless crisis and a concerning rise in crime rates, cannot be reversed by the current political establishment. Their inability to come together, find solutions, and strengthen our city has helped lead us here. Now, three of these council members are running for mayor … our city deserves more than what we’ve experienced in the past. It’s time for progress.”
Trambley has been on the city’s planning commission for five years and helped lead the effort to get the sales tax Measure X passed in 2018, which he says on his campaign site has provided critical funding for the city’s police and public works departments.
Trambley says he wants to engage more with business owners and patrons, cut red tape, and support a vibrant downtown and citywide business community. He says he wants to increase housing access and is committed to “smart and sustainable options to support Martinez residents.”
Trambley says he wants to restore the waterfront and “provide a sustainable and lasting solution with effective services to connect the unhoused with essential health services and job opportunities.”
Trambley also says the council “doesn’t need to spend $100,000 of taxpayer’s money on yet another downtown parking study when we know we need to modernize parking meters and create more spaces. We also need alternative transit options and expanded bike lanes throughout the city.”
Ayers, who did not submit a formal campaign statement to the city, says on his website that his priorities include government transparency, safe streets, parks and neighborhoods, and restoring the waterfront amphitheater — currently used as a shelter for unhoused people — “to what it was intended for.
He says his “goal is to approach homelessness with compassion, not enable it.” He also wants to increase the number of city police officers and provide more support for the city’s public works department.
Those registering or re-registering fewer than 15 days before an election need to complete the same day voter registration process and request a ballot in person at their county elections office or polling location.