Marti Brown


Vision.   Strategy.   Planning.   Implementation.

Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.

~ Albert Einstein
Theoretical Physicist

Marti is a local government practitioner emphasizing innovation and best public policy practices in public administration, municipal budgeting, urban planning, economic development, delivery of city services and quality of life issues. 

In August 2021, Marti joined the City of Willows as its Interim City Manager. By November 2021, she was appointed the City's permanent City Manager. Reporting to the City Council, Marti runs the City's day-to-day operations, including the following departments: Administration, Community Development, Finance, Fire, Public Works and Recreation. The City contracts with the Glenn County Sheriff's Department for police protection services. Current key projects and initiatives include: stabilizing city finances; developing currently deficient organizational structures, policies and procedures; and hiring key city staff positions, including an Accounting Manager, Community Development & Services Director, and Public works Maintenance staff.

Prior to joining the City of Willows, Marti worked with the Kensington Police Protection and Community Service District as its General Manager, the City of San Juan Bautista as a Community Development Consultant and the City of Marysville as its City Manager. During her short tenure with the City of Marysville, a few of Marti's accomplishments included:

  • Appointed a new Police Chief, Fire Chief, Finance Director (twice), Community Development Director, Public Works Director and City Clerk (twice);
  • Managed the Finance, Community Development and Public Works Departments for 14 months;
  • Upon arrival, completed the City’s eight-month late 2016-17 audit - financial auditing is now back on schedule;
  • Re-designed and prepared a more user-friendly budget bringing greater public transparency and understanding to the municipal budgeting process;
  • Refinanced City debt bringing an annual savings of $385,000 to the General Fund and $9 million savings over the life of the debt;
  • Increased the City’s Moody’s and S&P bond ratings two years in a row from “BBB3” to “BBB1” and from “BBB+“ to “A/Stable,” respectively;
  • Successfully negotiated new labor contracts with Teamsters, Police and Fire, including changing health insurance plans that resulted in $280,000 per year in savings to the General Fund, moving to a 9-step salary schedule, and changing from ‘Annual Leave’ to ‘Vacation’ and ‘Sick Leave’ banks – resulting in additional overtime savings;
  • Completed sewage rate study and implemented a rate increase to balance operating budget deficit in the Enterprise Fund;
  • Initiated and implemented 7-year financial forecasting model for long range budgeting and financial planning;
  • Managed amending and implementing the City’s Cannabis Ordinance to allow for recreational use, including the opening of two medical/recreational dispensaries and a Cannabis laboratory;
  • Working with the Public Works Director, developing a plan and strategy for addressing the City’s declining road/street infrastructure (e.g., average city-wide  Pavement Condition Index (PCI) is 55%) via Public Works maintenance, grants, SB1 funds, Maintenance of Effort funds, and other funding strategies (e.g., tax, bond);
  • Jump started and successfully delivered on schedule a historically delayed and time sensitive $15 million sewage infrastructure project avoiding additional penalties from the State Water Resources Control Board; and 
  • In an historically contentious political environment, successfully worked with local leaders to initiate and coordinate concurrent regional resolutions in four fire jurisdictions in an effort to pursue shared service agreements and eventual consolidation.

Prior to joining the City of Marysville on January 1, 2018, Marti worked in the City of Arvin as its first Community Development Director. Reporting to the City Manager, she managed the Planning, Building, Code Enforcement, Maintenance & Infrastructure, and Parks & Recreation Divisions, as well as co-managed Economic Development projects with the City Manager.

From October 2012 to August 2016, Marti was also the Executive Director of the Franklin Boulevard Business Association (‘Association’ (501c6)) and the Franklin Neighborhood Development Corporation ('Corporation' (501c3)) - a community development corporation. In addition to her responsibilities for the day-to-day operations of the Association and Corporation, Marti also managed the development of a Community and Economic Development Plan for the business district and surrounding residential neighborhoods. Achievements included:

  • Preparing, submitting and winning a $443,000 streetscape grant from the Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG) and leveraging an additional $450,000 in public funds for the same project; and
  • Rebranding the business district from "North Franklin" to "The Historic Monterey Trail District" based on historical evidence that demonstrates Franklin Boulevard was the "Monterey Trail" between Sutters Fort and Monterey during Mexican-California era (1821-1847).

Until January 2014, Marti also served as a Councilmember in the City of Vallejo, California. During her tenure, she spearheaded bringing Participatory Budgeting (PB) to the City of Vallejo for the first city-wide PB process in North America. PB Vallejo won the League of California Cities Helen Putnam Award for Excellence in September 2014. It was also honored as one of the Top Ten Programs in Government Awards in 2015 by the Harvard Kennedy School's Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation.

Marti's other popular civic innovation effort includes bringing Code for America to the City of Vallejo. In the fall of 2014, the City was recognized as a 2015 Code for America Government Partner – a competitive application that Marti initiated in 2013 before leaving office.

In addition to these initiatives, Marti's council tenure was also highlighted by her work on the City's comprehensive General Plan Update including advocating and winning council approval for its first-ever Health Element; her tough but necessary stand on labor contracts; and successfully exiting municipal bankruptcy.

Marti has been featured on Fox News, CBS and California Forward. She’s also interviewed with the Washington Post, New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and Sacramento Bee on such topics as Participatory Budgeting, municipal bankruptcy and public employee pension reform. More recently, she has also been included in stories in the Appeal Democrat - Yuba and Sutter Counties daily newspaper. Marti has been a public speaker and presenter at several conferences including The American Planning Association, League of California Cities, California American Planning Association, SXSW, Government Finance Officers Association, the Participatory Budgeting Project, the Local Government Commission, City Innovate Summit and Code for America Summit.

Prior to joining the City of Arvin and the Association, Marti spent 10 years as a Redevelopment Planner and Project Manager for the Sacramento Housing & Redevelopment Agency and the City of Berkeley. She was also a Market Manager and Cartographer in the Marketing Division of AT&T.

Marti holds a Master of Business Administration from Hope International University, Master of Arts degree in Geography with a concentration in Resource Management and Environmental Planning from San Francisco State University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Environmental Studies from World College West. She is a recipient of the Participatory Budgeting Project's Government Leadership Award and The Waterfront Center’s 2005 Clearwater Award for Excellence on the Waterfront. Marti speaks Spanish and Nepali.

For more information about Marti, check out her LinkedIn profile.