West Richland's new councilman discusses city's strengths, ideas for future

Loretto J. Hulse, Herald staff writerMarch 3, 2014 

West Richland's newest councilman is no stranger to the city government.

Byron Martin, 38, has been involved with the city's Economic Development Board since 2006, serving as chairman for several years.

He's also served on the Planning Commission, a position he resigned when appointed and sworn in as councilman Feb. 18.

The opening on the council came at the first of the year as former Councilman Brent Gerry took his seat as mayor.

Martin said he applied for the council position because he wanted to "become more personally involved with the city and help direct it where I'd like to see it go, while at the same time maintaining the integrity and quality of life we have."

He said West Richland has two strengths: its great schools and good neighbors. And he would like to preserve them. At the same time, Martin wants to see what he can do to help provide more economic development opportunities for the community.

Martin wants to see the city increase opportunities for services and products for residents that also would provide additional tax revenue.

"Unfortunately public services are not free ... it's a vital factor for any city to have a good balanced budget, and part of that is having funds available to provide those public services," he said.

Martin said he's excited and looks forward to serving on the council.

"There's a lot of potential for the Tri-Cities in general but West Richland has a lot of unique attributes and features. It's one of the safest communities around, is very family oriented with many public parks and has a small, hometown feel without being in the boondocks," he said.

Martin is married and has four children with another on the way. With a young family, he said it's his responsibility to protect them and one way is to have some voice in the community.

He's the owner of Teknologize, a technology management company in Kennewick that contracts with businesses to supply their information technology needs. He has five employees.

-- Loretto J. Hulse: 582-1513; lhulse@tricityherald.com

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