Napa Vision 2050 supports Amy Martenson’s reelection to the Napa Valley College Board of Trustees. Amy met with our Candidate Committee and demonstrated a keen understanding what a community college means to our community and the importance of community to the college. We are impressed by her ethical and dedicated service on the college board. She brings an independent view to the college board which is vital to what appears to be an insular body in need of varying perspectives and respectful conduct toward each other and the public. Amy’s opponent, Jeff Dodd, did not respond to our request for an interview.
Candidate Statement: Amy Martenson was born and raised in Napa, attending all local public schools. Having earned a Bachelor’s degree in History from UC Berkeley, a teaching credential from San Francisco State University, and a Master’s degree in Counseling from Sonoma State University, Martenson has worked for the Napa Valley Unified School District as a high school History teacher and school counselor for 24 years.
Running on a platform of bringing more integrity, transparency, and accessibility, Amy was elected to the Napa Valley College Board in November 2014 with over 58% of the vote, defeating a twelve-year incumbent.
During her tenure on the Board, she has attended every Board meeting, while also serving on the McPherson Distinguished Teaching Awards committee in 2014-15 and 2015-16, the Legislative committee in 2016-17, and the Audit and Finance committee from 2016 until the present. She is currently chair of the Audit and Finance committee.
Over the past four years, she has honored her campaign promises. For example, as a result of her leadership, Board meetings are now videotaped and posted online; the college’s monthly payments are posted online with a brief description of each item; the Board’s Real Property committee is now a standing committee with meetings that are open to the public; minutes are now taken at standing committee meetings and posted online, and more.
In addition, she has consistently provided effective oversight to help ensure that the college is utilizing best educational and fiscal management practices, and that board actions are in line with board policy and the law. For example, Amy has regularly stressed the importance of having data-driven planning with measurable goals, and the college is now moving in that direction. She voted not to approve the college’s annual budget during her first year, because expenditures exceeded revenues, and the Board has adopted balanced budgets ever since. She also provided a voice that has resulted in the college increasing its reserve fund from the legally required 5% of the budget to a more responsible 13%.
Amy hopes to continue serving on the Board for an additional four years, building upon what she has already accomplished. Her campaign priorities are to continue moving the college forward in terms of being more transparent and responsive to both the college community and the public; help safeguard the college’s core mission, making sure that the effort to improve student achievement is at the forefront and is driving college decision making; prevent further privatization of college operations, which cater to the corporate bottom-line and not students; and, have legal counsel present at Board meetings to address legal questions and improve Board functioning.
In her free time, Amy enjoys gardening and taking care of her chickens, traveling, practicing and teaching yoga, and spending time in nature. Learn more about Amy at www.amymartenson.com