Being prepared for a natural disaster is at the top of his priority list.
In the race for the Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor’s seat, Carrol Martin’s platform is to better protect borough residents against natural disasters and ensure they have the necessities to survive if an event were to cut the area off from suppliers.
“A safe, secure food supply, wildfire remediation and green belt-parks and recreation work together as a 3-in-1 plan and the borough should be encouraging Kenai, Soldotna, the (Kenaitze Indian) Tribe and Alaska (Division of) Forestry to work together,” he wrote in an email.
Martin is retired, but is an active volunteer in the community. He has a colorful past that has included a variety of work and life experience.
“I’m (100) percent confident I can win as I have worked all over the Peninsula and many people in each community know me and what I stand for,” he wrote. “No one has a more varied and successful career than I.”
Martin, of Kenai, who moved to Alaska permanently more than 40 years ago, grew up on a farm in Colorado. There, he learned how to garden, feed animals, milk cows, shear sheep and irrigate pastures.
“I can cut up a chicken in 13 seconds and clean fish, cut up pigs and cattle, wild game, etc. with comparable speed,” he wrote.
He honed his talents working in a grocery store butcher shop during high school and continues to pass down his knowledge by teaching 4-Hers and others these skills, he said.
When he was younger, his mother taught him how to make bread and pies, which helped him while he worked at a restaurant during his first two years of college, he said. He also worked as a landscaper at Ft. Louse College in Durango, Colorado, where he received an associate degree.
He then attended Adams State College in Alamosa, Colorado where he continued to do agriculture work and also worked in a potato chip plant. Martin graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business education and economics. He decide to continue at the college pursing a mater’s degree in elementary and secondary administration.
During his educational pursuit, he met and married his wife, JoAnne Martin. After graduation, the couple moved to Metlakatla, Alaska, in 1963 and Martin taught junior high and high school business classes. Their oldest son Blair was born in nearby Ketchikan.
It was there that Martin purchased and finished a 21-foot vessel and learned about boating. He also worked on a salmon fishing boat during the summer and expanded his commercial fishing experience. When the couple moved to Ninilchik, Martin worked as a setnetter.
The Martins decided they wanted to live in Alaska permanently, preferably on the Kenai Peninsula, so they moved back down to Colorado to work toward that dream, Martin wrote.
He taught high school business courses and was a principal for two years. Martin was also part-owner of a private business college and data processing business. In 1972, his wife was hired by the University of Alaska Extension Service as the home economics and 4-H agent in Juneau.
While in Juneau, Martin taught at the UA Southeast. JoAnne Martin was transferred to the Kenai Peninsula and Kodiak District office in Homer 18 months later. When the Cooperative Extension opened an office in Kodiak, the Kenai Peninsula office was moved to the Kenai Peninsula College. Martin taught for one year at KPC.
In 1975, the couple bought their current property on Kalifornsky Beach Road near Bridge Access Road where Martin built their house, barn and a few other out buildings.
Martin said he worked in education for 12 years total and in the oil and gas industry on the North Slope, Cook Inlet and the Kenai Gas Field for 17 years and farmed the entire time.
At a mayor candidate forum hosted by the Kenai and Soldotna Chambers, Martin said education is an important part of economic development on the peninsula.
He wrote that while he has benefited from his degrees, the value of a college education is over-exaggerated.
“I have witnessed many successful people in the oil and gas industry where hard work and intelligence have taken them to the top without a degree,” he wrote.
KPC has the “best oil and gas processing training in the world” and Alaska vocational Technical Center in Seward has the “best” food service training, he wrote.
When his oldest children were in high school, more vocational programs were offered, Martin wrote, but as their younger two children entered high school, those options were beginning to dwindle.
With and Alaska LNG Project liquefied natural gas plant and terminal expected to be constructed in Nikiski, he wrote that welders and other skilled workers will be needed for the project.
In 1997 the Martins started bed and breakfast, which expanded into the Diamond M Ranch Resort.
Martin wrote that his extensive experience in fishing, oil and gas and tourism would help him to maintain a balance between the three industries if he is elected.
The Martins adopted two of their children, Lisa and Jon. Lisa works for the Cooperative Extension Office and Jon works for Chevron managing “the best exploratory drilling platform in the Caribbean,” Martin wrote.
Their youngest son, James, was killed in a plane crash in 1987. Martin annually runs the barbecue at the Kenai Central High School homecoming football game in his son’s memory.
“The main thing (our kids) have taught us is that our children are our children and we love them no matter how they entered our family,” Martin wrote.
Kaylee Osowski can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.