Art Martinez de Vara
|Art Martinez de Vara|
|Mayor of Von Ormy, Texas|
November 4, 2008
April 29, 1975 |
|Spouse(s)||Marina Martinez de Vara|
|Alma mater||St. Mary's University School of Law (J.D.)
Sam Houston State University (M.A.)
St. Mary's University (M.A.)
University of Colorado (B.A.)
Martinez de Vara was born in Houston on April 29, 1975. He is a graduate of DeBakey High School for Health Professions and attended the Plan II Honors Program at the University of Texas at Austin. While at UT, Martinez de Vara founded the internet service provider AustinNet. The company later merged and re-located to Denver, Colorado. He graduated in 2007 from University of Colorado, majoring in History. He later graduated from St. Mary's University Law School. He also holds two Master of Arts degrees, one in Theology and one in History. While in law school, he interned for the Hon. Xavier Rodriguez, U.S. district judge for the Western District of Texas.
Creation of the City of Von Ormy
In the summer of 2006, Martinez de Vara led a group of Von Ormy residents that incorporated the city. To begin Martinez de Vara organized a series of public meetings in Von Ormy concerning the future of the community, the lack of basic public services and possible solutions to these problems. Overwhelming support for the creation of a City of Von Ormy was expressed by attendees at these three meetings. In order to pursue this community desire, the Committee to Incorporate Von Ormy, a Texas non-profit association, was organized. In addition to residential members, CIVO also includes over 20 commercial members representing nearly all local businesses.
He sought to establish himself as a leader on issues of economic development, education, and suburban independence. The newly formed city embarked on a large master planning project immediately after the first council took office. In its first three years the City had an aggressive agenda which organized a municipal police department, implemented a curbside recycling program, installed street lighting, cleaned up illegal dump sites, initiated uniform garbage collection, resurfaced two unpaved roads, opened a municipal court, organized a health department, completed a park master plan, acquired funds for an infrastructure master plan, began planning for a sewer system and community center and passed by public election an Economic Development Corporation and Community Development Corporation. Martinez de Vara's tenure is also notable for its three consecutive annual tax cuts of 10% each. The formation of the city of Von Ormy spurred a movement of suburban city formation in South Texas. 
In 2013, citing the social enterprise tone set by Mayor Martinez de Vara, Brooks Academy of Science and Engineering announced plans to establish a charter school in Von Ormy.
Martinez de Vara was recognized by the Business Journal for establishing and running a notable public policy think tank on Energy Policy.
In 2011, Martinez de Vara served as Chief-of-Staff/Legislative Director for State Rep. John Garza, District 117 becoming the first sitting mayor to serve in the capacity in the Texas Legislature. Garza's authored or co-authored over thirty five bills dealing primarily with property tax reform, rural and suburban water rights, election integrity, greater accountability in government, and home owner association reform.
Martinez de Vara assisted Garza in drafting HCR 88, which outlines the framework for modernizing the national immigration system utilizing a national guest worker program. This framework was later adopted by the Republican Party of Texas at its 2012 State Convention and was incorporated into the 2012 National Republican Party Platform.
Von Ormy Star
In 2008, Martinez de Vara founded The Von Ormy Star newspaper which covers local and regional news.
Martinez de Vara is a Historian of Texas History and has been published in the Handbook of Texas, Encyclopedia of Texas Music and various periodicals. His writings focus on early Tejano history and Jose Francisco Ruiz.
Von Ormy Film Commission
In 2012, Martinez de Vara founded the Von Ormy Film Commission along with directors Emmanuel Delfin and Brian Ramirez. Von Ormy is now home to a budding South Texas film industry centered around the Von Ormy Film Commission. In 2013, the San Antonio Express News declared Von Ormy "Farm Film Capitol of South Texas." 
- Rose, Barbara (1 January 2011). "His Town: Firefighter, Lawyer, Now Mayor of the City He Helped Incorporate". ABA Journal. Retrieved 14 March 2012.
- "Election Results Media Report, November 4, 2008". Bexar County Elections. Retrieved 14 March 2012.
- Aldridge, James (19 September 2012). "Von Ormy adopts property tax cut". San Antonio Business Journal. Retrieved 6 October 2012.
- Gonzalez, John (4 March 2012). "Growth beyond cities to be explored". San Antonio Express-News. Retrieved 14 March 2012.
- "Texas Municipal League - Region 7". Texas Municipal League. Retrieved 16 April 2012.
- Aldridge, James (4 February 2013). "Brooks science academy seeking to build extension campus in Von Ormy". San Antonio Business Journal. Retrieved 24 February 2013.
- "Texas Legislature Online". Retrieved 21 September 2012.
- "HCR 88". Retrieved 21 September 2012.
- Aguilar, Julian. "State GOP Stands By New Immigration Position". Texas Tribune. Retrieved 21 September 2012.
- "Art Martinez de Vara". Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 14 March 2012.
- "In Von Ormy, movie stars are regular folks". San Antonio Express News. Retrieved 24 February 2013.