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The Martin Sanchez Story

  While working for the city of Plano as part of a Historic Preservation and Long-Range Planning Division, I was fortunate to be recruited by the City of McKinney in 1998. Dr. Wysong (then Councilman) led the charge to establish a "Long-Range Planning" division in the City of McKinney. I was tasked to dream big, dream into the future, and establish long-range policies that set a course for the future. Many thanks are due for the confidence and support given to me by Dr. Wysong, Bill Sproull, Reggie Neff, John Kessel, Larry Robinson, and the many supporters we had in those "crazy days."
Our team was instrumental in many current and future programs including:
·   the Architectural Standards Ordinance for McKinney
       ·   the Tree Preservation Ordinance
       ·   the Regional Employment Center Overlay District
       ·   the McKinney 2000 Master Thoroughfare Plan (where we established the City's Greenway Arterials)
       ·   the massive annexation program that led to McKinney's current day ability to manage a     
    comprehensive infrastructure program.
  During that time, I fell in love with my best friend and wife. When it was time to start a family and venture into our own consulting firm, McKinney was easily our choice.

An Amazing Journey (the Martin Sanchez Story)

By J.B. Blocker

  “I hadn’t yet made a choice of universities when I visited Bryan, Texas.  It’s not like I knew this was the place I wanted to spend the next 7 years. But when I visited the Texas A&M campus, I knew this was where I wanted to be!”

  When Martin Sanchez describes Texas A&M he doesn’t talk about the academics, or the sports, or even the magnificent campus. To Martin, those are givens.

  So, what inspired the young nerd from Harlingen to choose Texas A&M? Martin reflects, “There is always a warm buzz all around the campus. It is the sound of students and faculty as they pass by each other. It is the sound of the howdies and hellos as people pass each other on the lawns and sidewalks and in the hallways. It is the constant demonstration of warmth and respectful courtesy and brotherhood.  The campus has a gigantic small town aura!”

South Texas

   Leonardo Sanchez would ride his horse to the feed store where Maria worked at her father’s store. It took a while, but with the help of her sisters Leonardo finally won over Maria’s father. It was no easy task. Maria's father did not want to like a seemingly rough cowhand and farmer who was flirting with a beloved daughter.

  Six children later, J. Martin Sanchez was born in Chicago where his family had moved for a better opportunity. Leonardo had been given an opportunity to work as a welder with his cousin and he took that skill to the highest levels which later included oil field platforms, ceramic welding, and teaching the skills after he retired from the field. He still works the family land in South Texas to this day.

  Maria would continue to work for over 20 years as a cook at a day care facility because of her love for being around children.

  By the time the oldest children were becoming teenagers the rough inner urban environment, crazy winters, and the distance from a huge family base led to their return to the Valley. All the other children had attended Saint Mary’s Adorned in south Chicago. 
  Education was extremely important to the Sanchez family. Leonardo constantly reminded his children, “You have a choice! You can work like a mule like me, or you can get an education!”

  The words stuck like glue and each child has gone on to huge success. 

·        Juan now owns and operates a medical service that spans 19 counties. The company became a million dollar success in short order and is still growing.

·        Mark has his own successful claims service company. He has served as an Alderman for the city of Combes, a northern suburb of Harlingen for the past 11 years and is unchallenged for this current mayoral election.

·        Sam became a highly regarded appraiser/adjustor for Farm Bureau. He is the daredevil who still rides motocross and drag races.

·        Mary is fondly referred to as ‘the Wal-Mart Queen’. She and her husband are comfortably retired as executives of the retail giant. She is the nurturing one.

·        Rosie is an executive for USAA and is still advancing her education and like her family, has a real zest for life.

·        Martin’s story is a winding journey that is still being written.

“When we returned to south Texas, all of us went to school together dressed in our Catholic school wear, recalls Juan. That was all we had ever worn to school.” Big brother didn’t let the teasing go by and the children quickly got back to their roots.

  Juan, the oldest struck out on his own to join the U.S.Army at age 17, where he served as a medic for 13 years. With stints in Beirut and Grenada, he was an inspiration to his youngest sibling of 11 years, Martin. That influence was a key to Martins high school years.

  “When I became a Certified Nursing Aide at age 16, I showed my brother Juan my scrubs. He took me to the ironing board and taught me how to make sharp, straight creases in my shirt and pants. All the time, he was explaining the value and need to look sharp and put together as a matter of personal pride as well as to establish a responsible image. Then, he crumpled up the clothes he had ironed and had me iron them again! It was a wonderful lesson!”

  I asked Juan about his youngest sibling. “ Martin fully represents the work ethics our parents instilled in us. He has always found a way to make lemonade from lemons.” In a message to his little brother he added, “Your city and the people you want to represent are lucky to have you, no question about it.  You have always had such insight and foresight into what people can accomplish.  You are the candle lighter, not the candle blower.  You bring out the best in people, sir.  Keep up the great work.”

  Mark shares the family’s pride in the life Martin has lived. “Martin was playing chess at 5 and winning! He is the smartest, best educated, and most focused of all of us. He has always understood numbers and I like to say that his mind is like an Actuary on Steroids. He always seemed to see the big picture. No matter what he took on, he never gave up or let anyone down.”

  “When I left for college, my brother Mark took me to the side and privately slipped me some money. It was a thousand dollars! Especially then, it was a huge amount and I was overwhelmed at his encouraging words of confidence and pride in me. That is one precious memory.” 

  Sam coached Martin in little league. The entire family is sports crazy and ardent baseball fans. He points out that Martin was born on the day Ernie Banks hit his 500th home run while they lived in Chicago. He says it as if it were a sign of things to come.

  “Martin was my star player in little league. It wasn’t that he was the most talented. It’s just that no matter what the team needed, he would always come through. If I needed someone to play a different position, the team could count on Martin. He was always respectful to me and his teammates; he practiced hard, and just always seemed to get the big picture whether it was football, baseball, or any other sport. He would have been a great high school athlete but he chose another path and we are so proud of him for his wise choices and his determination to do his best. Martin’s best always goes way beyond expectations!”

  “I want to add another thing about his choices. Our family is entirely Hispanic except for Martins wonderful wife Kim. When they married, Kim had our mother teach her how to make homemade tortillas. Our wives joke about the pressure she put on them for that. But it was a sign of her love and devotion to Martin and our heritage. She has gone on to prove that her heart belongs to family. Once again, Martin exhibited foresight and is being rewarded with a wonderful family.”

Martin the Candy Striper

  By age 15, Martin was following the footsteps of his oldest brother in the medical field. He began volunteering as an aide at a nursing home and by 16 he was a CNA, (Certified Nursing Aide). 
  No work was too menial for Martin. He could be counted on to clean the worst messes while always keeping a great attitude. He had decided he wanted to be an ER Doctor!

  As a sophomore, he was accepted into the South Texas High School for Health Professionals in Mercedes, Texas.

  “Med High" is a public, health professions magnet high school serving the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. Part of South Texas Independent School District. Among the school's distinctions are:

  • Named a national "Blue Ribbon" school by U.S. Dept. of Education.
  • U.S. News and World Report rated us as one of the "top 100 high schools in the nation".
  • Texas Education Agency rated "Exemplary".

  Every school day for the next 3 years, Martin would be dropped off at the local high school at 5:45. It was an hour and fifteen minute bus ride each way!

  There are no athletics at this Magnet School. Now Martin’s energy and skill in sports and team play found a new avenue. The competitions were in U.I.L scholastics. He competed in Poetry Reading, Number Sense, Prose Interpretation, and Debate. He won State and National awards in HOSA (Health Occupation Students of America) competitions.

  “It was a whole new world for me. Every morning I left a largely Hispanic community and studied with kids from every walk of life. I made friends with people from all over South Texas and then returned to Harlingen every evening.”

  In his first year, he was one of 20 sophomores selected to a 2 week Summer Medical Camp at the prestigious Rice University. There they witnessed an open heart surgery by the pioneer in the field Dr. Michael DeBakey.

  For the next three years, the inspired and aspiring physician worked weekends and summers at 3 different nursing homes and was studying at a college level. 
  By his senior year, Martin was accepted into the Medical Preceptorship Program where he attended school half days and worked in a medical lab for the other half. All this time, he was up at around 5 every morning and coming home late. The total accumulation of bus time exceeds 1800 hours! Plenty of time to get all of his homework done on time and dream big dreams.

Aggie World

  “I never took a student loan. There were some academic scholarships that helped, but I basically studied and worked. I worked at nursing homes, waited tables, and tutored. Eventually I received fellowships that paid a little for research work too.”

  Martin fell in love with Texas A&M. “Hook, line, and sinker!”

Aside from not having to ride a bus 3 hours a day, there was so much of a family atmosphere that he was at home from the start. But there was only one thing he never expected! It was a big thing!

  “We went to a pre-med orientation and our group was sent to the medical lab where we were introduced to what would be our lab cadavers! I couldn’t get around the fact that I was maybe a little too (let’s say) sensitive for that experience. The idea of carving on another human being was a far cry from caring for them! It was with that reality that I changed my major to my other love and maybe one of my greater skills. Numbers! I became an Economics major and it changed my whole direction in life.”

Medical Humanities and Ethics ?

  Along the way to an Economics degree, Martin is referred to Dr. Don Self who is the Dean of the A&M College of Medical Humanities and Medical Ethics. Under his guidance, Martin co-writes a published work on Moral Orientation of Justice and Care and researches for 20+ hours a day for 14 weeks for a social analysis. 
  This research included hundreds of hours developing a coding system to analyze human development and the media.

  They created an auditing course in Econometrics and by his senior year the Dean of Liberal Arts called him in personally for a new project in Health Care Development. The next thing he knew he was in a Masters of Urban Planning curriculum.

  Part of the work was incorporating the needs of health care with the College of Architecture.  When Dr. David Pugh (considered the father of zoning in Texas ) called on Martin, his education began to include developing Healthy Cities.  This involved studying landscape architecture and Urban Planning.

  “I knew I had found my home and my calling! What we do as planners is not just about making cities great. It’s about making them safe, nurturing, and able to adjust and grow.

  The graduating class of Texas A&M ’92 included Martin Sanchez. In ’95 he would receive his Masters of Urban Planning while working under and eventually for several of the highest regarded Deans at the University. From ’94 to ’97 he would work at the research center for Housing and Urban Development.

  In 1997, Martin Sanchez was hired by the city of Plano and one year later his skill, experience, and body of work inspired the city of McKinney to invite him to guide the long term direction of the city.

  And so, here we are. Martin Sanchez and family have found their home and his calling. The city of McKinney’s future is calling and Martin can hear that voice and see that image better than anyone!

Kim Sanchez speaks up.  I am Martin’s wife, so I am biased – but, I do believe my husband, Martin Sanchez, is the best candidate for City Council at large. Let me tell you why.

  Martin has been employed by the State of Texas and Municipalities all over Texas.  While he was employed with the City of Plano he was recruited by the City of McKinney to come on board, initiate and lead the long range planning department – a big title for the word VISION.  

  The City of McKinney recognized him as a leader in VISIONING and sought him out.  While working at the City of McKinney Martin became intimately familiar with the structural organization of McKinney.  This is so important when trying to achieve the City’s goals.  Both creating the City’s Vision and intimately understanding the organization’s structure is something Martin  has already done and.
   When Martin went to work with the private sector he was hired by a number of municipalities to do 2 things that are important to this election.  
  First, he was hired to train other City Councils on their duties, liabilities and maximize their capabilities.  
  Secondly, he was hired to develop Land Plans to maximize theses municipalities economic development and quality of life for their tax paying citizens.  Why would we not want Martin to do this for us? Lets ELECT him to get this job done.
  Lastly, when Martin and I started our own business in 2005 our business plan revolved around understanding both the City’s goals and the private developers goals marrying the two for a win-win situation.   
  This is what Economic Development is all about – marrying public and private VISIONS.  And this is how you reduce the tax burden on our City’s citizens.

  Martin’s entire career has been the perfect storm for this position.  As our good friend and supporter John Ganz eloquently stated “No Disrespect of any other candidate but I firmly believe McKinney is privileged to have a man with these credentials willing to commit his time and energy to the betterment of our City.  Voting for Martin may be the easiest thing you ever do to improve this community.”  Please vote for VISION…Vote for  J. Martin Sanchez for City of McKinney Council At-Large.

Kim Sanchez, PE
- J.B. Blocker is a media consultant based in Collin County in North Texas. Advertise with J.B. by calling 469-334-9962.

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