Scott Martin, the dynamo who in effect brought a kind of adventurous and successful economic development to Franklin County--based on what it is, rather than what some would have it be--is leaving for a job in Louisville, Ky.
His leaving follows closely behind his virtual twin in Roanoke, Stuart Mease, who left his position in economic development a couple of months ago for a job with Rackspace Email & Apps in Blacksburg, where he has lived for years. Mease and Martin were considered two of the brightest young stars in government in this region and maybe in Virginia.
In his e-mail to the FRONT, Martin said, "Jenn and I have decided to take a career challenge/opportunity in Louisville, Ky. I’ll be joining a community led non-profit initiative (21st Century Parks) that is seeking to construct a 3,000+ acre park within the city limits.
"This is a completely new challenge and we’re fired up about the concept of building, and managing a public park of this size.We’re going to find out if it is possible to build a public park in the finest Olmstead tradition in this day and age. We’ll start work in Louisville on January 4, last day of work in Franklin County will be on December 18.
"We’ve loved our time here in Franklin County and want to thank everyone who made our experience here so terrific. Together, we’ve built some special parks and I think helped improve our community’s quality of life."
Scott says the leaving was difficult, but "Louisville is exciting because [it has] made the commitment to do exactly what our area says it wants to do: build access to the outdoors. It's going to be a blast to work on a project that has committed supporters and a 'let's get it done' ability on the financial and political front."
Scott has been the driving force in emphasizing Franklin County's natural environment and selling that for eco-tourism, festivals, sporting events and a wide variety of efforts aimed at today's active--and often well-to-do--travelers and those seeking permanent residence.