CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The city of Corpus Christi announced Saturday morning that Public Works Director Richard Martinez suddenly passed away on Friday.
According to a release from the city, Martinez came to Corpus Christi in January 2020 as part of the restructuring of the Public Works/Streets/Storm Water Department. Before coming to the city, he served as Assistant Transportation and Public Works Director for the city of Fort Worth, as well as the Public Works Operations Manager for the city of San Antonio.
While in Corpus Christi, Martinez served the city in many ways. He created the city's very first street sweeping program, created a Pothole Repair Improvement Program, oversaw the current rehabilitation of Ocean Drive, and developed the city's first five-year Rolling Infrastructure Management Program which has so far rehabilitated 148 city streets, just to name a few.
“Richard was a transformational leader in moving forward progress for our street’s department and our city owes him a sincere debt of gratitude. I am grateful to have called Richard my colleague and my friend," said Mayor Paulette Guajardo in the release.
Martinez was 56 years old. He leaves behind his wife, Mabelita Castellanos de Alba, and several children and grandchildren.
"He was a true and inspirational leader who instilled confidence in his teammates who have spent the past two years rebuilding our public works functions for Corpus Christi,” said City Manager Peter Zanoni in the city's release. “We looked at Richard not as a department head but as a lovable friend. He was someone everyone wanted to engage with. We will miss him greatly. Our thoughts and prayers are with him, his family, and his friends he has made over the years in Corpus Christi, San Antonio, and Fort Worth."
Funeral arrangements will be announced at a later time.