Martin feels at home in his new community

Published 8:21 am Saturday, August 24, 2013


Randy Martin webFRANKLIN–Franklin City Manager, Randolph “Randy” Martin, said he took the manager’s job with Franklin because, aside from the fact that he thought he could make a positive difference, the area reminded him of where he grew up.

Martin’s been here about a year and a half and has not been sorry on either count, he added.

In fact, early this month, Martin and his staff achieved one of the goals he had hoped to reach when he signed on: Franklin was awarded the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association.

In reporting the event, The Tidewater News noted that Martin said, “This is a good achievement for us.”

And indeed it is. This is the highest form of recognition to be reached in government accounting.

Martin, 57, has spent 35 years in public service. He came to Franklin from Morehead City, N.C. where he spent 16-½ years in city government. Prior to this, he worked in city management in King, N.C., for 11 years.

He said that the end of this time in North Carolina he thought about getting into another kind of work; he even thought about retiring.

“But then this job came along and I really wasn’t ready to retire. I still have too much energy.

“When I applied for the job here, I thought it would be just what I needed. The community seemed to be in transition, economic development was in need of revitalization, among other things, and I thought I could make a difference.”

“Then, the area here is not only similar to where I grew up, but it is closer to my mom and my family than I was in North Carolina,” Martin continued. “A big plus is the people here are great, especially the ones I work with.”

A graduate of North Carolina State University and the Chapel Hill School of Government in public administration in community development, he worked first in county government, he said.

“I held just about every job in the county,” Martin revealed with a smile. “But it was good experience and I liked the work.”

“I eventually decided I needed a change, however, and took a job with the State of North Carolina writing grants, both federal and state, for different areas of community development. It turned out to be a good background for my jobs in city management,” he went on.

Martin said he is responsible for day-to-day operations in the city, sort of a liaison between the community and the staff and city council.

“I keep in touch with the mayor and council, as well as other organizations, especially economic development. “Amanda Jarratt with economic development has given me a lot of support,” he added.

“We’ve made some strides in economic development,” Martin continued. “But we need more. With the cooperation we’re getting from our partners, Southampton and Isle of Wight counties, I expect to see an upswing in this direction”

He said there is a lot of potential for business in the city. “What we need is more investment, which will generate more jobs. “That is a major focus.”

Martin said he welcomes feedback from the community, from anyone who has a suggestion, even a complaint.

“We want to know what’s going on in the community,” he said.

NAME: Robert Randolph “Randy” Martin.

WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO THIS AREA: Employment with the City of Franklin.

HOMETOWN: Stuart, Va.

OCCUPATION: Franklin City Manager.


CHILDREN SCHOOLS AND AGES: We have three sons, all grown, college educated and with their own careers.

FAVORITE NIGHT OUT ON THE TOWN: I enjoy going to Fred’s for the Shag Club and We Be Jammin’ in season.

FAVORITE RESTAURANT: I like all the local restaurants, but especially the ones that serve seafood.

FAVORITE MEAL AND BEVERAGE: Steak or seafood and anything strawberry for dessert. My favorite drink would be bottled water.

WHAT DO MOST PEOPLE NOT KNOW ABOUT YOU: I like a challenge and I like to work with my hands.

WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT YOURSELF: My family. They keep me grounded.

WHAT IS YOUR WORST HABIT: I tend to burn the candle at both ends. When challenged, I’ll go to extremes to get a job done. I never give up, which leads to overwork, which of course makes one less productive.

PETS: We have three dogs, which we call granddogs because we inherited them from our children.

FAVORITE HOBBIES: I like any activity that is outdoors and/or near the water. I’m an avid sports fan, such as baseball, football and basketball, love water sports, biking and motorcycling. Just name a sport and I am a fan.

PET PEEVE: I don’t like people who have ulterior motives.

FIRST JOB: Priming tobacco.

HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE REMEMBERED: As a good husband, father and friend who cared about people.

IF YOU HAD 10 MINUTES ON NATIONAL TELEVISION, WHAT WOULD YOUR TOPIC BE AND WHAT WOULD YOU SAY: I would speak to today’s young people about the future. I would urge them to not be narrow-minded, try all kinds of jobs and activities, learn about many things, be well-rounded. You never know what’s out there, so be prepared for many avenues and you will succeed.