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Murray Journal

Martinez announces resignation from Murray City Council

Nov 01, 2022 08:25PM ● By Shaun Delliskave

By Shaun Delliskave | [email protected]

Murray City Councilor Kat Martinez announced her resignation, one year shy of completing a full term in office. Martinez, who is making a career move to Oregon, has yet to provide a specific date, but according to her social media, she plans to stay on until possibly December.

“I would love to finish out my term and always planned to do so,” Martinez said. “However, I received a job offer from Western Oregon University in their Research Institute. There I will continue to support the childcare industry and work to improve equity in early childhood education. The timing isn’t perfect, but this job opportunity is too good to pass up for me and my family’s long-term well-being.”

Martinez was elected in 2019 with campaign promises of trigger locks for Murray School District families, creating a neighborhood cleanup plan similar to Salt Lake City’s, and making Murray more welcoming and inclusive.

While the first two platform items did not materialize, she did make progress on her third promise.

“I am very proud of what I have accomplished over the past three years here in Murray. I leave behind more crosswalks and additional crossing guards that keep our residents safe as they walk throughout our community. I created and led a Diversity and Inclusion Task Force, which ultimately led to the creation of an Equity Director position,” Martinez said.

Concurrently, Martinez works as a trainer at the State of Utah Department of Health Child Care Licensing. Before that, she owned a daycare and was a middle school teacher. She was also involved in local Democratic Party politics and served on the Murray Arts Advisory Board.

“I started working on issues related to the Murray Theater renovation as a member of the Murray Arts Advisory Committee over five years ago, and I am sorry not to see that project completed before I leave. My family and I will definitely come back and visit to attend an event in the renovated theater once it is completed,” Martinez said.

Martinez’s term has not been without controversy. Just one month into her term, she sponsored a resolution in advance of Rep. Karen Kwan’s own resolution to endorse the Equal Rights Amendment in the Legislature. Typically, resolutions are vetted before the Committee of the Whole and take weeks or months to gather resident feedback. Instead, Martinez sponsored it without following standard procedures. While the resolution passed, Kwan’s resolution failed at the capitol.

Also, Martinez generated controversy during her comments on the Bullion Street zoning change, expressing her opinion that Murray needs higher-density development. She has not backed down from her comments.

“Mixed-use development is the key to walkable neighborhoods and vibrant communities. More dense housing also means more affordable or accessible housing for the average Murray resident. Murray is not an agriculture or smelter-based community anymore. It needs to be allowed to grow and change with the industries and people it now serves. This can be done while maintaining a classic or historic aesthetic. There is always room for compromise and collaboration,” Martinez said.

Asked if she has concerns about Murray’s future, Martinez expressed one.

“I think the most dangerous thing in Murray is fear of change. There is a shortage of affordable housing, and decision makers and residents must be willing to put people before nostalgia. The expansion of ADUs (Accessory Dwelling Units) is a great first step, but in order to make Murray a place young families and working professionals can afford to live, more needs to be done,” Martinez said.

State law prescribes how a city must replace a city council member. First, the city will invite applicants living in District 1 to apply for the seat. Each applicant will then be brought before the city council to answer a few questions, after which the council will select three candidates who will then be narrowed down to the final appointee.