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North : PLACENTIA : New Mayor Has His Work Cut Out for Him

December 15, 1994|HOLLY J. WAGNER

The city's new mayor, Michael L. Maertzweiler, is feeling the weight of his new responsibilities like no Placentia mayor before him.

Maertzweiler, who was elected to the City Council in 1992, became mayor just hours after Orange County declared bankruptcy last week.

The city has $20 million invested in the county's sagging pool fund and only $2 million invested elsewhere.

"It is a baptism by fire, I guess, a real test," Maertzweiler said. "I feel confident that the fiscal planning we've done in the past will see us though."

But Maertzweiler hopes residents will be patient with him as he grows into his new job.

"I want people to understand I'm not that omnipotent that I can edict an answer," he said.

In dealing with the bond crisis and other matters, he said, "I would rely heavily on the city administrator. He pulls it all together."

City Administrator Robert D'Amato said that Placentia officials, along with officials in other cities, are still trying to grasp the magnitude of the county's financial crisis and figure out how it will affect the city.

"I think everybody got caught short," he said. "Nobody, including the financial community, saw this coming. . . . We just need to understand the full scope of the problem after the county sorts it out."

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