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Martinez faces two primary rivals for Riverton Ward 2 seat

Past councilman Martinez faces two primary rivals for Riverton Ward 2 seat

Aug 15, 2012 - By Emily Etheredge, Staff Writer

Lee Martinez said he wants the City of Riverton to become the best it can be.

Born and raised in Riverton, Martinez, 71, served on the Riverton City Council for eight years from 2002 to 2010 and has decided to run for council again in the Aug. 21 primary election for Riverton City Council Ward 2 against candidates Todd Smith and Sarah Kalbach.

Martinez was a candidate for mayor in 2010, finishing behind Ron Warpness and Larry Bauman in the primary election. Warpness won the general election.

"I enjoyed serving on the council before," Martinez said. "I have no issues or complaints with the city right now. I just want to make sure I can help Riverton grow."

During his previous time serving on the council, Martinez said he learned that setting goals is hard to accomplish because of having to mesh goals with six other council members.

"One of the main things I learned when I was on the council before is you just do the best you can," Martinez said. "You listen to the people of the city, you hear them out, and you work hard to make the city you live in something to be proud of."

One change Martinez would like to make, if elected, is the streamlining of recycling throughout the city.

"I am not too crazy about the way it is being run right now," Martinez said. "I want to make it easier for people to recycle."

Martinez said he would like to assist Riverton chief of police Mike Broadhead in addressing the city's alcohol issues and working to curb underage drinking.

He said he would also like to work to bring the long-awaited Job Corps Center to the city.

"Another thing I would like to see happen if I were elected, would be Job Corps finally coming to Riverton," Martinez said. "That was something I worked on when I was on council before, and I would really like to see that happen."

The Job Corps facility has been awarded to Riverton, but construction is now years behind the original schedule.

Throughout the years, Martinez said he has served on the Riverton Recreation District 25 board, the Solid Waste Disposal District board and the Riverton Planning Commission.

"I have lived in Riverton all of my life and know the city well," Martinez said. "The city always has something to improve whether it be the streets and alleys. I know it all takes money and the city doesn't have a lot of money right now, but there will always be things to work on."

Martinez said his previous experience with the council and his familiarity with Riverton should help as he tries to secure the council seat.

Martinez said if elected, he would not change his style from the last time he served on the city council.

"Everybody makes mistakes," Martinez said. "I wouldn't change a thing about how I worked on the council before. I got along great with people and always answered my phone when people called me."

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