Current director declares candidacy for new office

July 8, 2003

by Dan Ross
For The Forks Forum

The head of the countyís department of community development wants to keep his job.
Bob Martin, head of the department for the past seven years, is going to run for election to the post in November. The job, once an appointed position, is for the first time an elected one. County voters last year opted to make Martinís job an elected one as part of the Home Rule Charter changes.

This was one of the hardest decisions I ever had to make, said Martin. I had to decide whether I really wanted to be a politician.

Property rights advocates in the county repeatedly claimed Martin wielded too much control, stating a belief they felt Martin controlled county commissioner decisions in areas such as the county critical areas ordinance.
Much of this belief led to the proposal voted in last year to turn the community development directorís job into an elected one. Ironically, by making the job an elected position, the person hired will no longer answer to county commissioners.
I think that reflects a lack of understanding of how things run around here, said Martin.
Although he disagrees the job should be an elected one, Martin said he can see some benefits in not working as an employee of county commissioners.

Right now I am not free to raise issues and initiatives on my own, said Martin. This could put some of my ideas into circulation.
Rob Robertson, county building official and fire marshal, and former charter review commissioner John Miller are the other candidates who have announced their desire to become community development director.

Martin said he believes all three candidates are going to be able to focus on issues rather than personalities during the campaign.

These are good people who would act responsibly, said Martin of his two challengers.

Martin spent seven years with Portland Metro, where he was director of solid waste and recycling, before coming to Clallam County. He also spent 12 years working in Alaska, serving time as chief of water quality and deputy director of water quality for the state.

Martin is married to Deni Rauw, operator of Nodaway Farm. He has two grown children.


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