|Phillip Faris, Mayor Bryan Martin, Jr. Rotarian Anna Gilbert, and Dr. Robert Smalling|
Mayor Martin began his remarks by talking about his years of growing up in Warren and the wonderful experience it was. He mentioned a number of coaches and teachers that influenced him in a positive way. Among those named were Mrs. Pennington, Mary Culp, Coach Jamie Raper, Coach Mickey O'Quinn and Sam Smalling. He went on to talk about his early career in merchandising and the years of working for and managing Martins Department Store, a three generation family business. He discussed the success of Martins and the factors that lead to his selling the business.
The Mayor stated that the city was in solid shape financially. He talked about several issues and the status of ongoing projects. Mayor Martin went into some detail on the actions taken to get the burned building on Main Street cleaned up. He stated he could not help but be angry that the tax payers are having to pay $148,000.00 to clean up the site when it is the responsibility of the property owner to do so. He went on to say the city has no choice and will do what it has to do.
The Mayor acknowledged that other structures within the city also require cleanup that may have to be enforced in the future.
Other subjects discussed included the renovation of Axley Field, making it into a soccer facility that can be used by the city, the school district and the general public. He talked about plans to upgrade the railroad depot and make it usable for private business and be a useful addition to the city park. He also reported how pleased he was that the city and a private business have agreed to move forward with the sale of the old post office on Main Street that will result in a new retail business being opened.
In other economic development actions, he discussed the orthoflex building ( former garment plant ) on West Central that has been sold to a private business which will result in new activity, and ongoing efforts to recruit a new company to the former OMP plant located in the city industrial park. All of these actions are part of the city's effort to create jobs and generate tax revenue.
The Mayor stated that he continues to support the intermodal facility between Warren and Monticello. He said he hopes it will eventually create jobs and benefit Warren. He went on to say that he will continue to recommend to the city council that Warren contribute a reasonable amount of support to the intermodal park annually.
Mayor Martin indicated he enjoyed working for the people of Warren and that he tells city employees every day that their job is to serve the people of Warren to the best of their ability.