Paso Robles Mayor Steve Martin has a heck of a resume: In addition to serving on the City Council for a total of 15 years, he’s worked in marketing, advertising and journalism; volunteered for a number of causes, including homeless services, hospice and the American Cancer Society; written eight stage plays; and lest you think he’s all about the arts, developed software for veterinary practices and studied physics in college. Oh, and he plays a number of musical instruments.
He’s also an astute politician who knows how to stick up for the people of Paso Robles.
Example: When San Luis Obispo County proposed a new animal shelter to serve the entire county, Martin and Atascadero Mayor Tom O’Malley led the charge in pushing back over their share of the the cost. The two cities pulled out of the project for a time — creating anxiety for the other communities — but ultimately agreed to remain part of the countywide project. As a result, they won some concessions for North County taxpayers.
Also, Martin isn’t afraid to question the status quo, even if that means challenging more powerful agencies.
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He asked the county to contribute $300,000 in property tax revenue to affordable housing in Paso Robles (the county more or less declined) and he’s one of the major proponents of taking over the state-owned 155-acre California Youth Authority facility for housing and other uses, including a solar farm.
Martin is politically moderate and has a reputation for examining all sides of issues, which was a major reason he won the endorsement of The Tribune in the 2016 race for county supervisor. He made it through the primary to the November general election, though he ultimately lost to John Peschong.
In the coming term, Martin’s goals include improving public safety services; addressing public parking needs; continuing to press for re-use of the vacant Youth Authority parcel; and, of course, increasing street repairs.
Martin’s only opponent, current Councilman Jim Reed, did not participate in The Tribune’s endorsement process, nor did he respond to a reporter’s attempts to interview him about his reasons for running.
Candidates are under no obligation to respond to reporters, but that can raise a red flag about their transparency and accessibility not only to the media, but to constituents as well.
It’s especially important for a mayor to be an ambassador for the city, and Martin has excelled at that.
The Tribune strongly endorses Steve Martin for a second four-year term as mayor of Paso Robles.