Former City Manager, Gary Martin, Passes

Mike Seals - August 26, 2020 10:57 pm

Gary Martin, at the age of 4, moved with his family from Okemah to Ponca City. He began his career with the City of Ponca City in the Parks and Recreation Department, moving up through the ranks as Parks Superintendent, Parks and Recreation Director, and Public Works Director. He then became City Manager in 1993, retiring in 2009.

As City Manager, he worked well with City staff, commissioners, and advisory boards; with municipal, tribal, county, state, federal and international government representatives; with citizens; with community organizations; and with businesses and industries.

By working together with others, he was able to achieve much through the many challenges that have faced our community, such as the threat of electric deregulation; the unfunded federal and state mandates requiring multi-million dollar improvements to water, wastewater and solid waste facilities and operations; the successful passage of an unprecedented economic development tax that continues to diversify and grow our local economy; the beautiful renovation and expansion of the No. 1 Fire Station and City Hall, and the successful recovery of a major ice storm…to name just a few.

Gary was a person who loved innovation.

He served on countless boards and committees over the years, including the Chamber’s Infrastructure Committee, Legislative Committee and Centennial Committee.

He volunteered at community events, whether it was decorating a float or serving hotdogs, and he found innovative ways to help support civic, economic development, tourism and Main Street endeavors.

He received national media attention with the implementation of an advanced meter infrastructure and energy-efficiency program, that continues to help the City improve its utility services to residents while reducing its energy and operating expenditures and impact on the environment.

Gary was recognized as an innovative leader by state, national and international organizations, including the American Public Works Association, Solid Waste Association of North America, Oklahoma Municipal League, City Manager Association of Oklahoma, Ponca City Chamber of Commerce, and Oklahoma Hall of Fame for City and Town Officials.

Through Gary Martin’s leadership at the City, our community continues to be recognized across the state and nationally for not only completing projects successfully… but for working together as a community to accomplish lasting results… results that will continue to benefit our community for generations to come.



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