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Corpus Christi Changes Include Resignation

Richard Martinez (left) received the 2019 Public Works Leader of the Year award from the the American Public Works Association’s Texas chapter. A week after the announcement, Assistant City Manager Mark Van Vleck (right) resigned. Courtesy photo

Corpus Christi Assistant City Manager Mark Van Vleck resigned January 2 following a city manager staff meeting held to talk about the “direction of the office,” City Manager Peter Zanoni announced. Van Vleck was assistant city manager of Public Works and Utilities.

The resignation comes exactly one week after Zanoni combined the public works and street departments and hired a new department head from Fort Worth.

On January 20, Richard Martinez, assistant director of the Fort Worth Transportation and Public Works Department, will take over the newly named Public Works and Street Department in Corpus Christi. The city also moved its Storm Water Division from water utilities to public works, putting all right-of-way issues under one department.

Albert Quintanilla, currently director of street operations for Corpus Christi, was named assistant director of the newly combined department.

Van Vleck leaves after 16 years with the city. Before that, he spent 20 years in the U.S. Navy, retiring as an officer. He headed eight departments over his decade with Corpus Christi. He was recently a finalist for the job of city manager in Killeen.

DEPARTMENTS COMBINED

Falling under the purview of the new Public Works and Street Department will be Corpus Christi's roadway infrastructure, sidewalks, pavement markings, traffic signal systems, signage, debris clearance, right-of-way maintenance, and transportation planning.

Several new business process changes are being implemented with the merger, including balancing street work between contractors and city staff and using street applications and materials that are designed for an urban setting.

Other changes include:

• providing city staff with more training in street maintenance processes;

• replacing outdated equipment and repairing non-working equipment;

• creating a maintenance plan for concrete streets;

• having better timelines in delivering the annual street preventative maintenance program;

• developing a robust street sweeping program;

• and transferring stormwater functions to the new Public Works and Street Department.

Martinez gained his more than 29 years of municipal government experience in public works departments in Fort Worth and San Antonio. He was named the Top Public Works Leader of the Year for 2019 by the American Public Works Association’s Texas chapter.

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