MART, TX – How long has it been since you’ve been to Mart? When was the last time you took a drive through “small town USA?”
Recently, the City of Mart (Home of Division 2A State Championship Football) hosted its annual “Save our City” community event. People gathered for one day to help clean the city in an effort to improve the city’s “curb appeal.”
Picking up trash and removing piles of junk, local citizens united in a cause much greater than “cleaning” their city. To them, they were trying to restore honor and pride.
The people of Mart are proud of their heritage. They’ve been through a lot, suffering through hardships and surviving together. Now, their city is in peril. Their people tell the story of a withering city, and their desire to keep Mart alive.
Driving to Mart from HWY 164, you see abandoned buildings, structures falling down, marked off with hazard tape. The entrance to a once thriving community, is now filled with potholes. Today, the city budget is stressed, services are limited and conditions seem bleak. People are leaving the community in search of jobs, unable to make ends meet. As they leave, they pack up and take their families with them, leaving a hole in the city.
No Local Clinic or EMS?
For years, the people of Mart have been ignored when it comes to providing medical services for county residents. In Mart, there is no hospital. There isn’t even a clinic. If the people in Mart need county medical services, they must come to Waco or surrounding medical facilities.
If a person in Mart has a heart attack, and calls 911, they must wait at least 20-30 minutes until an EMS arrives. That’s right. There is no ambulance in Mart. Residents in critical need (life or death) have to wait for an ambulance to arrive from Waco or Marlin. Time is everything in emergency situations, and the people of Mart are not given a fighting chance to survive. On the other hand, urban residents have easy access to County medical services, ensuring they have all the benefits of a health clinic and medical facilities.
Future Partnerships / Agreements
When there’s not enough money in the budget, how do we accomplish the task of maintaining expensive roads and providing adequate services for the residents?
Collaboration and communication is key for advancing the rural community in precinct 2. Collaboration between cities and county, where assets can be shared throughout the precinct, and agreements made in order to continue providing safe roads and services for families.
Efforts to recruit new businesses will be multiplied with free flowing communication with new County leadership. With these new businesses come new jobs. The rural part of the county should have a united front, where city and county governments work together to improve the quality of life for all residents.
Early voting begins October 20th and the General Election is November 4th. Current Commissioner, Lester Gibson has been in office for 24 years. Judge him by his record and the conditions of precinct 2.
Challenger Tony Abad, Republican Candidate for County Commissioner, has been campaigning hard, meeting voters throughout the precinct. He’s heard the complaints loud and clear. He’s seen the conditions and understands the challenges ahead.
The voters need to decide. Continue with business as usual, or elect a new Commissioner and get things moving again.