Tony Martin

In today’s installment of profiles of candidates seeking elected office in Raleigh County, candidates for mayor provide answers – in their own words. The Register-Herald presented the same set of questions to all candidates.

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● Tell our readers about yourself. I have lived in Beckley my entire life. All I ever wanted to be growing up was a police officer but I have a praying mom that really didn’t want me to be a police officer, I guess that’s how I ended helping people in other ways.

I’ve been a tax accountant for almost 24 years. My tax and accounting practice, TR Tax, has been located on South Kanawha Street in Beckley since August of 2001. I also own a real estate investment company and a restaurant in downtown Beckley. In my spare time I serve our community as volunteer firefighter with Bradley-Prosperity Fire Department.

My accomplishments are not what I set out to achieve in my life, but rather the result of following my passion with the drive and determination to achieve an end goal. This is the same determination and drive I will bring to the Mayor’s office.

● What are the top three reasons you are seeking office? Safe streets, a strong local economy and a Mayor's office that is open and accountable to our community.

Day One as your next mayor I will completely reinvent the way our city government communicates with its residents. I will do a much better job of delivering the information you need on city services, offer televised city council meetings and provide new opportunities for the residents of Beckley to get involved in shaping the future of our great city. I will also utilize our local community channel as an educational tool for our youth, a showcase for local talent and to aggressively market what our city has to offer both the residents of Beckley as well as our visitors.

From engaging citizens to taking on the drug trade, the benefit of building strong communities not only improves our quality of life, it’s good for business. To make our city brighter and safer, I will promote initiatives that help residents take back their streets. I will encourage and support public events, neighborhood festivals and opportunities for community groups and organizations to take advantage of our public spaces. I will partner with the community, our schools, colleges and universities in order to expand our youth programs beyond sports to include technology and the arts.

I will aggressively market our city and capitalize on our potential to grow our economy by providing entertainment alongside opportunity. While showcasing our city’s unique talent and diversity, I will leverage the interests and assets of the merchant and arts communities on each other to create a more compelling downtown experience. I will work to develop strategic partnerships with property owners, businesses, schools and arts organizations to begin transforming downtown from an unappealing business district to a lively Business/Arts and Culture District.

● What is the single thing you regret most in your life? Allowing my extreme shyness to prevent me from doing so many things I would have liked to have experienced in my life. I however have no desire to change my past because doing so would most likely change my present and I have no desire to do that. Alternatively, I have learned to use my regrets to help me make better choices, improve myself and focus on doing things differently moving forward.

● What is the single thing you are most proud of?

My mom, my wife and my children, the most important people in my life are proud of me. I’ve ran for political office three times, and all three times I’ve lost, still yet they’re just as proud. It makes me proud to know that they are proud of me.

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