Incumbent John M. Martin is one of six candidates running for the White Plains Common Council on Nov. 5. Martin, who is running under the Democratic, Working Family and Independent ballot lines.
Martin was first appointed to the Common Council from 1994-95. He was appointed again in April 2011 and ran that year to finish out the unexpired term.
In 1995, Martin founded the All New York Title Agency in downtown White Plains in 1995 with two partner and he currently serves as general counsel for the company, handling all legal aspects.
He is married, with four children, and he currently resides in the Gedney Farms neighborhood. More information on Martin is available on his campaign Web site here. Information on the other candidates running this year can be found here.
Below are Martin's responses to a questionnaire sent out by Patch.
Occupation: Downtown business owner
Patch: Why did you decide to run for election?
Martin: I was honored to be appointed to the Common Council in 2011 and won election that year to finish out the unexpired term of (Councilman) Roach. I decided to run for re-election because I feel so strongly that our current administration is doing an outstanding job managing the city and its finances in very difficult times.
Patch: What personal or professional experiences qualify you to serve on the common council?
Martin: Frankly, there are many of my experiences that qualify me including:
- President – Fisher Hill Association (approx. 1991 to 1993)
- Member – White Plains Common Council 1994 – 1995 (appointed 1994 and elected 11/1994)
- Vice Chair – White Plains Urban Renewal Agency 1994 – 1997
- Chair – Comprehensive Plan Management Group 1994 – 1997 overseeing the preparation of the 1997 Comprehensive Plan
- Co-Chair – Comprehensive Plan update Committee
- Member and rotating Chair – White Plains Board of Assessment Review 1996 – 2011
- Vice Chair (and past Chair and Treasurer) White Plains Business Improvement District 1998 – 2011
- Founder and Chairman – White Plains St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee 1997 – present
- Chairman – Recreation Advisory Committee 2011 - present
- Member – Capital Projects Board 2011- present.
Patch: What is the top issue facing city residents?
Martin: In my opinion it should be the city’s finances and delivery of services in the most economical manner.
Patch: Describe your campaign platform or how you differentiate yourself from your opponents' platforms?
Martin: I believe that my experience in our community as well as my business and legal background should be put to work for the citizens of White Plains and I believe that this experience is not matched by our opponents.
Patch: Should you be elected, what would you like to achieve over the course of your term?
Martin: There are 2 critical items that must be achieved in my next term, if elected.
- We need to start the process of updating our Comprehensive Plan. This critical document is typically useful for a 15 year period and our current Plan was completed in 1997 and only updated in 2006. We need wide-scale citizen input into a new Comprehensive Plan to guide us over the next 15 years.
- We need to expand the boundaries of our Business Improvement District to include the areas around White Plains Hospital as well as the area around our train station. These 2 critical areas were not in the original approved BID but I believe they would benefit tremendously from have the services that the BID can provide.
Patch: If elected, how do you feel you will balance of the concerns of the city’s businesses community with the concerns of all your other constituents?
Martin: As past Chairman and Treasurer of our BID and as a downtown business owner, I have a finger on the pulse of business in White Plains. As a resident I am aware that the interests of business may, or may not be completely aligned with those of the citizens. More often those interests are aligned, though, because a strong city needs a strong business base. There will always be a necessary balancing of those interests.
Patch: Is there anything we haven't asked that you would like the public to know about you?
Martin: No but I’d sure like the public to know all of the above about me and anything about all of the candidates. There has been a void in coverage of this election so far and it’s only a few weeks away!