nogales

Fontes stays true to form

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Posted: Thursday, February 11, 2010 11:00 pm

City Manager Jaime Fontes is supposed to be at his new job next week. Wonder if he’ll show up? In Nogales, he rarely did.

Even when Fontes was physically at city hall, it was as if he wasn’t.

Several projects already funded long ago with bond money and just waiting for him to pull the trigger are still in Limbo.

During council meetings he was evasive when asked even the simplest questions. He would go off on tangents leaving folks wondering just exactly what his point was and whether their question was ever answered.

Earlier this month, in an unprecedented move, Fontes unilaterally postponed the charter-required regular city council meeting. Things were getting heated as television reporter Tammy Vo of KGUN 9 in Tucson was busy exposing the mayor’s lavish and seemingly unchecked spending habits. But Vo was simply posing questions that Councilman Nubar Hanessian had been asking and Fontes had been evading for more than a year, only now he would have to face a TV camera.

The meeting was postponed until Wednesday. True to form, Fontes called city hall at about 3 p.m. that same day to say he would not be attending what would be his last regular council meeting before moving on to not-so-bigger-and-better things in Santa Paula, Calif.

The original meeting was postponed by Fontes ostensibly because the interim city attorney was not going to show up. So folks at Wednesday’s meeting quipped that perhaps the meeting would again be moved – this time by the city attorney because now it was Fontes that was going to be a no-show.

Fontes has made no overtures to assist in the city manager’s transition. While several applications for his job have been received, the city council has not addressed the fact that beginning next week, Nogales will be without a city manager.

But then again, it’s as if Nogales has not had a city manager since Fontes was appointed in an April 2008 coup that also saw spendthrift Octavio Garcia-Von Borstel become mayor.

We hear City of Santa Paula headhunters think Fontes is the best thing since sliced bread. Wonder if they would be interested in taking our mayor as well. We could even throw a slightly used Chevy Tahoe into the deal.

(What do you think? Write us at 268 W. View Point Dr., Nogales, Ariz., 85621 or manuel.coppola@nogalesinternational.com.)

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