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Martin’s philosophy has guided him

“I live in paradise, and I have the world’s greatest job,” said Garfield County Commissioner John Martin. Martin, who’s served as commissioner for District 2 for eight years, is seeking re-election Nov. 2. But don’t call him a politician.”I’m a statesman. I’m at this job 24 hours a day,” Martin said.He said it’s his belief that no one person is more important than any other that guides his work as a commissioner.”It’s my basic philosophy,” said Martin, who serves as the board of commissioners’ chairman. Real life experiences Martin grew up in Utah and Colorado, and attended both Salida High School and Southern Colorado State College in Pueblo before coming to Glenwood Springs in 1969.He was a construction worker from Glenwood to Aspen to Vail, operated service stations, tended bar, and worked as the food and beverage manager at the Holiday Inn in Glenwood Springs before being invited to join the Glenwood Springs Police Department in 1971.”It was my rapport with people,” Martin said of his 25-year law enforcement career. “They could see I understood the community. I understand citizens because I’m nothing more than a citizen myself.” Martin’s ability to reach out to people compelled “different citizens” to ask him to run for Garfield County commissioner. He was elected to the post in 1996 and took office in 1997. “It’s another way of serving the community,” he said.All along, Martin has had a deep connection with the American West. It’s evident in his signature Western attire, and in the presence of the word “Wyatt” between his first and last name on his commissioner name tag. To Martin, serving the community means allowing people to be responsible for themselves.”I believe you need to be accountable to yourself,” he said. “I’ll be the first to offer a hand to help, but ultimately, we’re all responsible for ourselves.”Day in the lifeMartin said a typical day in his life as a Garfield County Commissioner starts around 6 a.m.Living in Glenwood’s downtown neighborhood, he feels fortunate to be able to walk to and from work. A lot of the time, he’ll have coffee at Summit Canyon Mountaineering’s cafe (which he still calls “Calder’s Market,”) where he reads the newspapers, comparing them to see if their staffs have written fair and balanced stories.He stops by the Garfield County Courthouse before heading to the Courthouse Annex building and his office. There, he’ll check and respond to his e-mail and phone messages. He’ll go on a “road trip,” checking on various county projects. Or he’ll make contact with county corrections, the building and planning department, or the county assessor. He’ll also make time to be accessible in his office. He said he also tries to go to one of the communities in the county on a rotating basis to see what’s going on, “both good and bad.” And Martin has a big perspective about Garfield County’s gas industry issues.”We’re going through the same thing that’s gone on Pennsylvania and Texas,” he said regarding extractive industries. As old as the ancientsAsk Martin about the issues facing Garfield County, and he’ll refer back to the Roman Empire – and before.”The same issues have faced human beings since the dawn of time,” he said. “We’ve been struggling with these issues for thousands of years.”He said balancing the needs of people to preserve their lifestyles and environment with the need to provide energy and commerce to communities is nothing new. “Since the ancients, we’ve been dealing with the need for society to grow,” Martin said. “We don’t solve these problems. We adapt to them, so their impact is not as dramatic.”Contact Carrie Click: 945-8515, ext. 518cclick@postindependent.com


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