Jan Martin decided many years ago to spend the rest of her life in her hometown of Colorado Springs.
Along the way, Martin has become more and more active in community roles, a trait she inherited from her grandfather, Harry MacDonald, a state senator long ago.
Now she's taking her involvement to another level. Thursday, she plans to announce her candidacy for Colorado Springs City Council.
"It's been in the back of my mind for a long time to do this," Martin says. "And the only thing I would ever consider running for is the council. The fact that it's non-partisan is important that fits me very well."
Martin comes from a well-known family: Her father owned Guy Martin Buick and was the first car dealer to move to Motor City in 1962. Along with an MBA degree from Regis University, her resume includes the county's Citizen Outreach Group as well as the boards of Downtown Partnership, Pioneers Museum, Ronald McDonald House and the Small Business Development Center. She also has taken part in the Bighorn Center's leadership development program.
In 2004, she served as part of a special committee that reviewed the city charter, "top to bottom," and made recommendations to council.
Then came a reality check.
"I was disappointed that the council wasn't bold enough to accept some of our suggestions," Martin says.
By way of example: "We thought the utilities board should be totally separate [from council], with utilities experts and citizens who would have been appointed. But the council wouldn't touch that with a 10-foot pole."
So now Martin wants to change her city from the inside by winning one of the four at-large council seats this April. She already has a strong support group including former council members Mary Ellen McNally and Judy Noyes.
"I'm not running against anyone," Martin insists, promising not to target any of the at-large incumbents. "But I think the city has more potential than the current council realizes. Colorado Springs is ready to become more energized, with a better sense of community."