On Aug. 23, Jan Martin gave a demonstration of her ability to influence outcomes. The president pro tem of City Council had worked for two years to persuade her peers on council, and the community, that it was time to convert city-owned Memorial Hospital into a nonprofit so that it could partner with other health care organizations.
At stake that afternoon: a measure to go on the ballot in November that would allow such an alliance. Six of the nine Council members were in their first term. The measure faced opposition from a number of city leaders, including the mayor. Council Chambers were packed with citizens there to have their say.
Despite the tension and the pressure, the measure passed.
The next day, Martin, in victory, was characteristically understated. “When you put nine Council members on a dais with TV cameras, lights and an emotionally packed room, you never know how people will react. But, we stayed pretty focused on the issue yesterday and were able to reach a compromise where the majority of people seemed OK at the end. The important thing is the issue is moving forward with a timeline in place.”
The hospital issue illustrates Martin’s persuasive style, her focus on the benefits to the community. “I spent a lot of time with the six new members, just bringing them up to speed on the issue. I can’t help but encourage them to my way of thinking. But all I asked was an informed vote.”
Martin’s a native of the Springs who worked summers in high school and college in her dad’s Buick dealership. Today, she owns her own business, the Martin Business Group, specializing in information systems and business training.
Her true passion is serving her community, and mentoring future community leaders. She’s mentored many a Rising Professional through the Chamber of Commerce, and takes great satisfaction in their success. Her position on Council — she’s in her second four-year-term — has offered her an opportunity to work for legislation that will keep the Springs moving forward.
“When I ran the first time I had no idea we’d run into the worst downturn in years,” she says. “But you do what you have to to keep the city healthy.