Tommie Cline Martin knows what separates her from the other two candidates in the race for Gila County District One Supervisor.
"My roots, this is my home, my place and it always has been," Martin said. "I have memories of my great grandmother and I can see this land through her eyes."
Martin attended local schools and was the salutatorian and student body president of the Payson High School graduating class of 1968. At the conclusion of her senior year, she was elected Payson Rodeo Queen and in 1970 took over as the queen contest coordinator.
Martin eventually enrolled at Arizona State University and in 1978 graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.S. degree in AgriBusiness.
Today, she is self-employed as an independent contractor operating EcoRestore, LLC and Common Ground.
According to Martin, her clients include private land owners, businesses, government agencies, trade association and Indian nations.
Her firm specializes in facilitation of conflict resolution, leadership training, family dynamics, long range planning, holistic management and collaborative group process with an emphasis on the western United States and public land management, she said.
Prior to opening the business in 1989, she held down a myriad of jobs including working as a credit analyst for Valley National Bank, a secretary for the Arizona Cattle Growers Association, the associate executive director of the International Center for Holistic Resource Management, doing traffic control for FNF Construction company, a reporter for the Payson Roundup, a cook and waitress at the Oxbow Inn and the owner of the Payson Barber Shop.
Although she believes her lifelong ties to Payson make her a strong candidate, sometimes her local attachments are a burden.
"I am not a ‘good old boy' as some might think," she said. "I have very futuristic views, vision and long range planning," she said.
If elected, Martin has promised she will rise up to meet the challenges Gila County faces. They include restoring forest and watershed health, re-establishing resource-based industries and reducing the alarming risk of catastrophic wildfire.
Although she identifies forest health as the biggest challenge, saying failed federal policy has destroyed the land, she would also like to see a county complex built in Payson to better meet the needs of Northern Gila County residents.
Another goal is to begin an extensive recycling program at the county landfills so waste products can be reused rather than burned or buried.
Also, she contends the board of supervisors "must continually scrutinize operations for efficiency and effectiveness, evaluate advances in technology, minimize employee turnover and optimize services in times of declining revenue."
Martin has long been active in the Republican party having served as a precinct committee person and as an alternate voting member to the 1976 state convention.
In 1978, she worked as a legislative intern for House Rules Committee Chairman Sam McConnell.
She also has been a Gila County Election Board volunteer since 1970 and served on the county planning and zoning board from 1991 to 1998.