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Martin's election key to swinging the water-district board to refer consolidation question to voters

Jim Martin stepped down at an Oak Lodge Water Services Board meeting on May 15 after many years of service to the district.

Jim MartinOLWS District officials said they were sorry to lose the talent and expertise that Martin brought to OLWS. Martin, an elected commissioner for the Oak Lodge Sanitary District from 2007-15, led a drive to consolidate the two districts after he unseated longtime Oak Lodge Water District Commissioner Myron Martwick in the May 2015 election.

Martin's election was key to swinging the water-district board in a direction to refer the consolidation question to voters. In May 2016, 70 percent of voters approved the consolidation, urged by Martin and other key board members.

In January 2017, Martin was selected to the board for the newly formed OLWS at its inception and served until his resignation. In that capacity, Martin was board president for its first year and was key in finding Sarah Jo Chaplen to be the new general manager of OLWS.

"[At the May 15 meeting] the rest of the board members expressed heartfelt thanks for all of his work, although Jim's stated preference is to leave quietly without any fanfare and attention," Chaplen said.

OLWS Board member Lynn Fisher said that Martin recently retired after spending countless hours of volunteer time in efforts to benefit his neighbors.

"I think that he is tired after 11 years of truly outstanding service, not only to the special districts but also to the Oak Lodge community," Fisher said. "We will miss his leadership."

The board is now looking for applicants for a partial-term vacancy and are asking for any applications to be submitted by June 15. The application is available here.

The appointed applicant will serve until June 30, 2019. At the May 2019 election this applicant could run for election to continue serving through June 2021.