Art Martinez de Vara
|Art Martinez de Vara|
|Mayor of Von Ormy, Texas|
November 4, 2008 – May 23, 2015
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.
Incorporations of new cities
In the summer of 2006, Martinez de Vara led a group of Von Ormy residents who incorporated the city. Von Ormy was the first city in Bexar County in over thirty years. Since that time, Martinez de Vara has assisted in establishing over half of the new cities in Texas, including Providence Village, Texas, Ivanhoe, Texas, Sandy Oaks, Texas and Kingsbury, Texas.
He sought to establish himself as a leader on issues of economic development, education, and suburban independence. Martinez de Vara's tenure is also notable for its consecutive annual tax cuts of 10% each leading to the elimination of property taxes in 2015. The newly formed city embarked on a large master planning project immediately after the first council took office. The formation of the city of Von Ormy and its policies of reliance on consumption taxes and avoidance of restrictions on personal liberties spurred a movement of suburban city formation in Texas termed the "Liberty City Movement". 
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 has 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 homeowner association reform.
In the 82nd Texas Legislature, while serving as Chief of Staff for State Rep. John V. Garza, Martinez de Vara drafted HCR 88, which outlines a framework for modernizing the national immigration system utilizing a national guest worker program. At its 2012 State Convention, the Republican Party of Texas adopted this framework under the name of "The Texas Solution", making Texas the first state Republican Party to do so. Martinez de Vara chaired the Platform Subcommittee that drafted the Texas Solution. The guest worker program framework adopted by the Republican Party of Texas was later incorporated into the 2012 National Republican Party Platform, marking a significant shift in Republican policy.
Von Ormy Star
In 2008, Martinez de Vara founded The Von Ormy Star newspaper, which covers local and regional news.
Martinez de Vara is an award 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. He is the author of several books on Texas history, and won the 2014 Presidio La Bahia Award for The Jose Francisco Ruiz Papers, Vol. 1: Report on the Indian Tribes of Texas in 1818. He was the recipient of the 2014 Texas State Genealogical Society Books Award for History and Records of Mission San Patricio de Bexar at Bexar, Texas.
Von Ormy Film Commission
In 2012, Martinez de Vara co-founded the Von Ormy Film Commission with directors Emmanuel Delfin and Brian Ramirez. Von Ormy is now home to a budding South Texas film industry centered on the Von Ormy Film Commission. In 2013, the San Antonio Express News declared Von Ormy the "Farm Film Capitol of South Texas." 
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