Mountain View city attorney Michael Martello was all set to retire at the end of the year, leaving public service behind him for good. But then the city of Los Gatos came knocking.
Martello told the Voice he has agreed to take an interim "town attorney" job in Los Gatos, which is looking to replace outgoing attorney Orry Korb.
After interviewing several other possible interim replacements, the Los Gatos Town Council decided Martello would be a good interim town attorney while they go through a "full-blown recruitment process."
Martello served as city attorney for 16 years in Mountain View and developed a reputation for aggressively fighting for the city's interests and building a legal department that city officials had faith in. He successfully fought several David-and-Goliath legal battles, defending the city's interests against the likes of Clear Channel and AT&T.
"He's one of the most respected city attorneys in the state," said city manager Kevin Duggan. "He's got an incredible amount of knowledge."
As much as Los Gatos might want him to stay on permanently, Martello said he made it clear that he is "very interested in retiring."
He and three other retiring Mountain View department heads are throwing a retirement party on Friday, Jan. 8. The following Monday, Martello begins transitioning into his new temporary role at Los Gatos, taking over for Korb, who is leaving after 14 years there.
Los Gatos is a good city to work for, Martello said.