Councilwoman Martin reflects on first and only term
Dec 10, 2019 03:29PM
By Justin Adams
Councilwoman Nicole Martin may have just served one term, but her extensive professional experience in the world of local government allowed her to do a lot more than most one-term officials.
By Justin Adams | [email protected]
It was one-and-done for Councilwoman Nicole Martin, who opted not to run for re-election after one term of representing Herriman’s District 4 residents. But she said she’s proud of what she was able to accomplish in her four years on the council.
Prior to being elected to the Herriman City Council, Martin already had a lot of local government experience from her professional career as a communications specialist, working as a public information officer for Herriman from 2009 to 2012 and as a communications director for Sandy city from 2013 to 2018. That experience allowed her to hit the ground running.
“When the opportunity arose to serve on the other side of the desk, so to speak, I thought that was a good service I could give,” she said. “It was a natural extension to go into public policy at that point, putting that experience to good use.”
It’s fitting then that two of Martin’s accomplishments, which she said she’s most proud of, directly deal with resident communication.
First, Martin said she led an effort to establish the city’s first community survey program, which the city uses to solicit feedback from residents on various issues impacting the city.
“Because it’s such a fast-growing community, they want to have some input, as they should, to the direction of the city,” she said.
The second accomplishment was the formation of the city’s Community Outreach program, which the South Valley Journal highlighted in our previous issue.
The program requires potential developers in the city to hold neighborhood meetings with the residents that would be impacted by the development so they could respond to their concerns, and in some cases, adjust their projects accordingly.
“You always felt that developers came in, and it was one-and-done; they were there to make a profit,” Martin said. “The standard we set with this program is, that is not good enough for us in Herriman. We want community builders.”
That Herriman has such a program is a direct result of Martin’s professional experience in other cities, as she drew inspiration for it from a similar program that was established in Sandy city prior to her time there as communications director.
“Having watched that success in Sandy, I immediately wanted to implement that in Herriman as well,” she said. “Without a doubt, our projects have improved as a result of having this program in place.”
Martin said those efforts to improve communication with residents has been critical for the city during a time in which it has continued to grow rapidly.
“The growth has been incredible,” she said. “It is a fast-growing community. It really feels like the city is changing before your eyes. That makes the pace of everything so fast. Decisions have to be made quickly. Opportunities have to be seized or they’re lost. But you also have to have an eye toward long-term planning. While you’re trying to balance the need to move nimbly, you also want to be wise in your decisions as well.”
When asked why she chose not to run for re-election, Martin said her decision had a lot to do with the negativity that pervades even local politics these days.
“In some respects, you get tired of the negative climate,” she said. “I hope we don’t see this trend continue, where instead of looking for solutions, it’s all personal attacks.”
She also said there’s value in introducing new ideas and new eyes to the council, referring to the addition of her replacement, newly elected Steven Shields.
“I think Steven Shields seems excited and passionate about the role,” she said. “I wish him well.”