Mercedes Martin is Del Mar's city clerk and information systems director. She was born and raised in Kansas City, Kan. In 1988, she moved to California and went to work for Del Mar's Planning Department.
While Martin was working in the department and raising a young son, she attended college part time. While studying business and information technology at San Diego State, she analyzed the city's technology needs and collaborated with a council subcommittee to review and make recommendations for technology improvements. In January 1994, Martin was named city clerk, and in May 1994 she received her bachelor's degree in business administration with an emphasis in information systems.
Martin and Don Christiansen reside in Carlsbad. Their son, Eric, is a Ph.D. student in the computer science field at UCSD.
What brought you to Del Mar?
Very good luck! I followed my mate, Don, to Carlsbad from Kansas City in 1988. Del Mar was my first job in California, and I think I was originally hired because I was familiar with the (now antiquated) word processing program that the city Planning Department was using at the time.
What makes this town special to you?
I really love the people. I am continuously amazed at the high caliber of people who live here — brilliant, caring and involved residents in flip-flops!
If you could snap your fingers and have it done, what might you add, subtract or improve in the area?
Del Mar would be much like it is, but with a fresh face throughout the business district. All the businesses would be vibrant and inviting to the pedestrians as they stroll from 15th to Ninth streets. At 11th and Camino del Mar, there would be a new City Administration Building with small retail shops, sidewalk cafes and public gathering areas integrated into the design closest to the sidewalk.
The administrative office and shops, along with the developed property across the street and the Shores open space, would invite pedestrians to walk the length of Camino del Mar and enjoy the ambience of the city.
Who or what inspires you?
Altruistic behavior, working for the greater good.
If you hosted a dinner party for eight, whom (living or deceased) would you invite?
I can think of so many dinner parties of eight that would be so stimulating. I can imagine sitting down with Bette Midler, Goldie Hawn, Mae West, Chevy Chase and Steve Martin, for instance. That would be quite a hoot. Or another fun group would be Sting, George Clooney, Johnny Depp and John Lennon. But, if I could only have one party of eight, I would like to host some of the great philosophers and thinkers of all times: Jesus Christ, the Dalai Lama, Mahatma Gandhi, Charles Darwin, Leonardo da Vinci, Albert Einstein, Aldous Huxley and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. If, however, I could have dinner with my mother again, then I would gladly kick one of them off the guest list.
Tell us about what you are currently reading.
I am reading "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" by Maya Angelou, but one of my all-time favorites is the epic novel "The Pillars of the Earth" by Ken Follett.
What is your most-prized possession?
My family photos.
What are a few of your favorite movies?
Well, I just saw the new 3-D movie "Avatar." It was spectacular. My two all-time favorites are "Gattaca" and "Across the Universe."
"Gattaca" is a science-fiction film set in the not-too-distant future of 2020 that describes the haves and the have-nots, the genetically engineered humans and the naturally procreated humans, and the amazing fortitude of human will.
"Across the Universe" is a very fun film that tells the tale of a British lad named Jude, and the entire yarn is spun using fabulous Beatles music throughout.
Please describe your greatest accomplishment.
Finishing my degree while working full time and raising a young son. I think that my son observed that learning/acquiring an education is a very important aspect of life that is ultimately yours and yours alone.
What is your motto or philosophy of life?
I strive for love, understanding, patience, trust and respect for others and to co-exist with all types of people, their religions, cultures and belief systems. And to have fun!