A fresh face: Rhett Martin, 25, wins seat on Silverton City Council

May 2017 Posted in Community

20170417_192139 (2)By James Day

“I’m looking forward to something fresh,” Silverton Mayor Kyle Palmer said at a special City Council meeting on April 17.

Palmer’s comment came as the vote totals were about to be announced for the seat that came open when he took over as mayor.

“Something fresh” turned out to be Rhett Martin, a 25-year-old Silverton High School alum, who won the vote by the narrowest of margins.

Martin, who was selected for the council ahead of Brandi Leos and Jaime Fuhrman in a vote in which two points separated the three candidates, was immediately sworn in and went to work.

“Joining the Silverton City Council has been a goal of mine since I was a child,” said Martin, who works as an inspection supervisor with Columbia Helicopters at the Aurora State Airport.

“What I lack in experience I will make up for in passion.”

Martin said the three biggest challenges facing the council are public safety, responsible spending and controlled growth, adding that infrastructure, services and clean and safe water were part of the public safety component.

Martin said that in his first six months he hopes “to grasp and get a better view of the city budget and how the process works.”

The growth issue, Martin said, is tied to affordable housing, with councilors needing to determine “what defines affordable for us.”

Martin said his “biggest motivation for applying… is that the younger population in our community is entirely unrepresented at this level. I believe it’s important for younger people and our younger generations to not only be involved in community decisions but to also know that their opinions will be heard and valued.

“Young people do care about politics,” Martin added while vowing to bring them “in here” to council meetings by doing outreach.

Martin, who upon election as a councilor became a member of the city’s Budget Committee, already is getting his feet wet on that budget education process. Committee members received the preliminary 2017-18 spending plan April 18, with the first committee meeting taking place April 25. Councilors are scheduled to take final action on the budget at their June 19 meeting.

Martin will fill the remainder of Palmer’s council term. The seat will be on the ballot in November 2018. Palmer took over the mayoral post in March after Rick Lewis was appointed to the state Legislature.

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