John Marz's love for Henderson prompted his decision to become a councilman

For the past two months, newly appointed Henderson City Councilman John Marz has learned firsthand what it takes to run the city he loves.

Marz, 65, has been a Henderson resident for 26 years.

"I've lived in the same area of Ward 3 the whole time," Marz said. "I raised my kids here. Ninety percent of what I do is in Henderson."

Marz said even though Henderson is the second-largest city in the state, it retains a small-town feel.

"I think it will always keep that feel even as it grows and develops," Marz said.

Because of his love for the city, Marz knew it was time to give back to the community when Kathleen Vermillion resigned from the Ward 3 seat earlier this year.

"I thought I could add something to the position," Marz said.

Before serving on the City Council, Marz was appointed to the Henderson Planning Commission by former Councilman Steve Kirk.

"It's an important role," Marz said. "It determines the overall growth and development of the city."

Friends began to encourage Marz to run for the Ward 3 seat the next time it was open. When Vermillion resigned, people told Marz to throw his name in the running to be appointed.

At a special meeting Jan. 23, 11 candidates were interviewed. During his three-minute presentation to council members, Marz said high foreclosure rates are the main issue in Ward 3, as well as the state. He also said job creation could help with the issue.

The Henderson City Council voted 3-1 to appoint Marz, with Councilwoman Gerri Schroder casting the dissenting vote. Marz's first meeting was Feb. 7.

Marz said he doesn't plan to run for the position when his term expires in June 2013, which appealed to all members of the council except Schroder.

"I believe in a fair and equitable election," Marz said. "I believe anybody who has been appointed would have a big advantage."

Marz said he is done when his term ends.

"I might come to regret that," he said.

Marz spends two or three afternoons a week working at City Hall. He also works as a marketing consultant.

"I admire people who have full-time jobs that aren't as flexible as my schedule yet commit to public service," Marz said.

After graduating from Brigham Young University in 1971, Marz moved to Las Vegas to work in the sales department of the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

"It was a good way to break into the field," Marz said.

He then moved to Reno and opened his own marketing and advertising agency.

In 1986, he moved back to Las Vegas to go into the corporate world, working for Mandalay Resort Group at Circus Circus.

"I had the opportunity to work on really effective marketing programs on a level I couldn't do on the agency side," Marz said. "I worked with some top-notch executives that gave me a lot of leeway to do some terrific work."

Marz later opened a marketing consultant group, where he still works.

Marz has worked on various political campaigns in his career, helping on the sidelines. This was the first time he was the candidate.

As far as future political aspirations, Marz is open to the idea of running for other positions.

"My wife would say, 'I hope not,' " Marz said. "But I don't know. It has only been six weeks. My view could change in a year."

At times, Marz has thought about becoming a part of the Board of Regents for the Nevada System of Higher Education because of his interest in the education system.

But in the meantime, Marz continues to learn every day on the council.

Contact Henderson/Anthem View reporter Michael Lyle at or 387-5201.