I can give you some info regarding Artie Field’s tenure in Salinas. I know it’s been a while ago but I was disgusted with his behavior there as City Manager. I filed a formal complaint with the City Attorney’s office against the directives that he gave me. I was the Building Official at the time. The investigation determined that he was at fault for giving me direction to ignore life safety violations that directly affected the life safety of Salinas residents especially those of Hispanic residents.
I was the building official in charge of code enforcement. One of our biggest challenges was mostly migrant workers living in all kinds of unsafe living conditions such as converted garages. An adjacent city (Watsonville) had recently had a little girl perish in a garage fire. About the same time the City of Long Beach had three little girls perish in a garage fire – similar circumstance. Artie called me in his office twice and told me he did not want my officers to pursue illegal garage conversion complaints but rather sign enforcement (not a life safety issue). At the second meeting with him I assumed he didn’t realize the importance of what I told him regarding life safety. I gave him the example of the three children who had perished in Long Beach. He said “you don’t understand – I am directing you to do sign enforcement”. When I left that meeting with him walking back to our office – I said to my Senior Code Enforcement Officer – “I’ll be dipped in s**t before I do what that guy just told us to do.” That’s when I filed my complaint. He apparently was only driven by what he thought the Council wanted him to do – although I don’t think the Councilmembers would have agreed with what he said.
By state law you can’t tell a building official to ignore their duties of protecting the public.
Anyway – this might be really old news but in my opinion – Artie Fields should never be any type of manager in any municipality.