Rhonda Martin, Johnston City Council

My name is Rhonda Martin and I am running for re-election to the Johnston City Council.

rhonda martinIn 2017 when I first ran for the city council, I ran on a platform that supported adding sidewalks and trails to improve safety for our kids, advocated for protecting and enhancing our city’s natural resources like the Beaver Creek watershed area, and finally encouraging smart development that respected the small-town feel of Johnston.

Since I joined the Johnston City Council in 2017, we have:

  • Added 5 new police officers and 4 more full-time firefighters
  • Cut Johnston’s property taxes by 7%, the lowest assessed rate in 20 years
  • Added 6.25 miles of new trails and 2 miles of public sidewalks
  • Opened the first water trail in the metro along with a kayak launch
  • Built a new city hall and town center with a splash pad
  • Begun construction of a sports facility that will have one of the largest indoor track and soccer field in the state of Iowa as part of a public-private partnership with the city
  • Started televising and making city council meetings available to the public online, an initiative I proudly led

Even with all these achievements we have more work to do. The city is in the process of updating our current zoning and subdivision codes which is our opportunity to make changes that will encourage and incentivize developers to protect and save more trees and to actively encourage more sustainable building projects. With the northwest annexation of hundreds of acres along Highway 141 and north of Highway 415, the city will be making important decisions that will affect the fiscal future of the City of Johnston for the next quarter century.

For these reasons, I am asking for your vote on November 2, 2021.

LEARN MORE: If you are interested in learning more about me and my activities on the Johnston City Council, I recommend checking out my Facebook page: Rhonda Martin Johnston City Council.

CONTACT ME: Call me at 515-326-2675 or email me at rhondamartiniowanative@gmail.com

DONATE: If you would like to donate to my re-election campaign, visit my Act Blue page or mail checks to: Friends of Rhonda Martin, 5501 Garrison Court, Johnston, Iowa 50131


I’m number six of seven kids brought up on a hog and cattle farm in northwest Iowa. Our farm was halfway between Sac City and the little town of Newell. Summers were spent riding bikes to the Raccoon River to fish and later walking beans for cash money. Winters were spent sledding and learning to drive through snow drifts on gravel roads (go fast and don’t ever stop when only half way through!). Mom and Dad met at Iowa State and after graduation they took high school teaching jobs until they decided to try farming full time. They worked hard and were very successful by anyone’s standards. They valued education and all seven of us kids received college degrees or better. Unfortunately, none of us followed in their footsteps to continue the farming tradition and now a cousin has bought the old farmstead.

I graduated from Iowa State University with a Landscape Architecture degree. After spending five years in Annapolis, Maryland, my fiancé and I moved back to Iowa to raise a family. My husband and I have now been married 28 years and I’m not sure he has forgiven me yet for bringing him to Iowa where, I quote, “No one knows how to drive.” Just kidding… he really does love living here.

I am currently employed as a Campus Landscape Architect at ISU. I do not teach any classes. I am employed by the University itself to work for Facilities, Planning and Management. When interviewing for the job at ISU, I told the grounds staff that I understood their issues regarding snow removal because I had plowed snow in my former job. Pretty sure that answer got me their vote in the selection committee. (Luckily, I have not needed to plow snow for ISU!)

At ISU, I have managed a variety of site construction projects with budgets that range from $10,000 up to over $400,000.

  • I direct the TreeCycle program, which collects and preserves the wood from downed campus trees for later re-use; and the Tree Campus USA program, which is supported by the Arbor Day Foundation as a way to manage the campus trees.
  • I authored ISU’s Emerald Ash Readiness program which outlined a ten-year program to address the harmful impacts of the emerald ash borer on ISU’s trees.
  • My ISU projects include the new Iowa State University wall south of the campanile and the landscape paving and plantings around the north side of the Memorial Union.

Living in Johnston

We have lived in Johnston since 1999 and consider Johnston our final home. My son Ethan (age 25) and my daughter Eileen (age 22) both attended Johnston schools and received the best possible education available anywhere in the USA. Thank goodness our kids liked to play sports or else Kevin and I would never have made the good friends we have now. Most of our life-long friendships have come about because of the connections we made standing on the sidelines of the soccer field or running after the kids on the cross-country course.

Community Involvement

Over the years both my husband and I made commitments and donated time to different community groups in Johnston. We were brought up to value local government and the responsibility of the public to not only be informed about the issues in their community but also to give back by serving on different boards and commissions.

For my part, I served on the Johnston Neighborhood Improvement Grant Board from 2003 to 2009 and have served on the Johnston Tree Board since 2014. I also had the honor to be the president of the North Glenn Neighborhood Association from 2014 to 2017.

As a council member I am currently serving on the:

  • Johnston Ad-Hoc Public Works committee
  • Johnston Tree Board
  • Johnston Parks Board
  • Johnston Library Board
  • Johnston Grimes Metropolitan Fire Board
  • Beaver Creek Water Management Association