Robert (Bob) Martinez - 54th Mayor Of Tampa

Robert (Bob) Martinez - 54th Mayor Of Tampa

Image of Mayor of Tampa

Born: December 25, 1934

Term: October 1, 1979 - July 16, 1986 (Resigned)

Born in Tampa, Florida, Bob Martinez was the son of Serafin Martinezand Ida Carreno Martinez. He attended Hillsborough County Public Schoolsgraduating from Jefferson High in 1953. Martinez received his B.S. in SocialScience from the University of Tampa in 1953 and completed his Masters in Laborand Industrial Relations at the University of Illinois in 1964. Aftergraduation, Bob Martinez returned to Tampa and became a management consultantadvising businesses on labor relations. He also taught Economics at theUniversity of Tampa in the summer of 1965 and became Executive Director of theHillsborough Classroom Teachers Association from 1966-1975. As executivedirector, he negotiated the first union contract for Hillsborough Countyteachers. In 1974, Martinez campaigned for mayor but lost the election toWilliam Poe. He ran for mayor again in 1979 and, this time, won the election.

Under Martinez's administration Tampa's water and sewertreatment plants were modified, new sewer lines installed, and improvements madein the city's drainage systems. There was also significant renovation todowntown Tampa with the construction of new office buildings and high-riseresidential apartments. With this construction came stricter enforcement ofbuilding codes. In addition, Martinez helped to greatly increase the number ofconventions brought to the city and encouraged the construction of hotels.

Martinez reduced the size of the citygovernment without substantially decreasing city services, with the exception ofthe police department where there has been an increase of manpower. He reducedthe millage rate two years in a row and pushed revitalization of areas ofdeterioration such as Sulphur Springs and West Tampa. In regard to historicpreservation, Martinez ordered $529,000 to be set aside for thereconstruction of Tampa's historic red brick streets.

Mayor Martinez was elected to the board of directors of theNational League of Cities. He is the first Tampa official ever elected to theNational Policy Making Board. Governor Rubin Askew also appointed Martinez bevice chairman of the Southwest Florida Water Management District.

Martinez married Mary Jane Marino and the couple have two children.

Sources for this Biographical Sketch:

Covington, Dr. James W. and Wavering, Debbie Lee, "The Mayors of Tampa:A Brief Administrative History," Tampa, FL: University of Tampa, 1987.

Tampa Council Minutes, Cityof Tampa Archives, Tampa, FL