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Martin contested for first time since 1982 in Jackson

Residents of Jackson Township have not had a contested race for the office of township trustee since 1982. That’s when Joseph E. Martin was elected.
This spring, Martin was challenged in his own Democratic party by Robert Bolen. Martin received 75 percent of the votes (489) to Bolen’s 25 percent (161). It was Bolen’s first bid at public office.
The Republican party didn’t have anyone on the ballot in the May Primary Election. So in late June, the GOP appointed Steven C. Camenisch to run for that office.
Camenisch did not return phone calls requesting an interview.
Martin, who has a Georgetown address but lives on the far east edge of Jackson Township, said he thinks he’s done a good job serving the people.
‘I think I’ve done a good job, and I think I can continue to do the best job with the training and experience I have,’ he said. ‘I think I have a lot of knowledge and have gained considerable experience doing this job.
‘I also try to see that everyone’s treated fairly,’ he added.
Martin holds Level I and II certifications from the state in assessing property.
Assessing property and assisting those in need, particularly providing financial help, are the two main areas of the job, as Martin sees it.
Other areas of responsibility where Martin has had to step in are providing maintenance for abandoned cemeteries ‘ there are seven in his township ‘ and settling line disputes.
‘I’ve helped mediate about six conflicts and resolved one dispute’ since taking the office as Jackson Township trustee, he said.
He’s used some of the riverboat money he received from the county to install fences around abandoned cemeteries in his township.
‘I’m very proud of improvements I’ve been able to make to the abandoned cemeteries the township takes care of,’ Martin said.
Martin, who was reared in Harrison County, is a 1975 graduate of North Harrison High School. He attended Indiana University in Bloomington 1-1/2 years and earned his bachelor’s degree in 1980 in business administration at IU Southeast in New Albany.
Before becoming a full-time farmer, Martin, 50, was employed by Harrison County Bank, working at its Palmyra and Crandall branches. He now operates a hay business and tends to about 80 head of cattle.
Besides providing financial assistance to persons in need, Martin has purchased equipment for the Ramsey Volunteer Fire Dept., which serves Jackson, Spencer and Blue River townships, and he’s helped groups such as the Boy Scouts, 4-H, and youth baseball, basketball and softball programs.
‘I think I’ve used the riverboat money in some good ways by helping some of these groups,’ Martin said.
Martin represents the county’s township trustees on the Harrison County Advisory Plan Commission and is a member of Harrison County Farm Bureau.
He is married to the former Dawn Conrad. They have two children, Christopher, who graduated in May from North Harrison High School, and Savannah, who is a sophomore at NHHS.
Martin can be reached at 366-3433.