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Martinez runs for MV council

Posted: Friday, Jul 26th, 2013

Matthew Martinez

MONTE VISTA — Monte Vista native Matthew Martinez formally announced his candidacy for Monte Vista City Council on Wednesday.

“Growing up here, I learned the value of hard work and the importance of community. I carried those values with me into military service, and I will carry them into our city council if I am elected to council,” Martinez said.

Martinez said he has a vision for Monte Vista and wants to help the city live up to its potential.

“I plan to prioritize the budget to eliminate waste and give precedence to projects that have the best return for our city. I believe that greater transparency in the budget-making process will benefit everyone in Monte Vista,” he said. “I would also bring greater transparency to council. I believe that my job is to be accessible to my constituents, to listen to their concerns, and to openly communicate the decisions of the city council.”

Other goals include: modernizing the city police force; competing for tourist dollars, business development, and residential distinction; improving the image of the city; working to become certified as a TreeCity USA again; and qualifying for revitalization grants and development funds.

Martinez said he would donate part of his salary each year to a local charity or community organization, such as the Kids Connection.

Martinez joined the United States Marine Corps at the age of 18 and served three tours, two in the Pacific and one in Iraq. He said his experience in the military taught him “that honor and sacrifice aren’t just ideas: they are necessary steps in accomplishing our goals, as well as the foundation of leadership.”

When Martinez returned home to the Valley in 2010, he enrolled as a student at Adams State College. With the help of the G.I. Bill, he worked his way to a degree in government in three years, during which time he was elected as the president of the Associated Students and Faculty for two consecutive terms.

“I am proud to have overseen the restructuring and expansion of the Adams State Senate to its largest membership in the school’s history,” he said. “Under my watch, more students became involved in Senate and participated in the process of governance. We distributed thousands of dollars to clubs and activities. And despite budget cuts of $30,000, we were able to fund activities and travel for several groups, including Model U.N. and the Veterans’ Club.”

Last fall, Martinez served as an intern for Senator Michael Bennet in Washington, D.C. As a member of Senator Bennet’s legislative team, he worked on a variety of issues, including Department of Defense, Department of the Treasury, Foreign Affairs, and Veterans’ Affairs. He was entrusted with the responsibility of researching bills on their way to the Senate floor and with writing co-sponsorship memos, as well as with the handling of veterans’ affairs for the senator’s office. In recognition of his leadership skills, Senator Bennet delegated to Martinez the direct handling of constituent issues, which is unusual for someone in an intern position.

Back in the San Luis Valley, Martinez is working to improve the circumstances of veterans pursuing their education at Adams State University. He serves as the Veterans’ Coordinator at Adams State, which is a newly created position, assigned to him because of his role as one of the founding members of the Adams State University Veterans’ Club.

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