Mayor Martin passed away on Monday, Aug. 14 after a hard-fought illness

PASO ROBLES — The community of Paso Robles is in mourning after the City of Paso Robles announced the passing of Mayor Steve W. Martin. Mayor Martin passed away on Monday, Aug. 14, after a hard-fought illness.

On Thursday morning, March 2, the City of Paso Robles released an update on Mayor Martin to address rumors surrounding his absences from two recent city council meetings — Dec. 20, 2022, and the Jan. 31, 2023 meeting.

It was said by city staff that Mayor Martin was receiving treatment for a serious health concern. The mayor took a step back from his duties serving the city to focus on his health, treatment, recovery, and family. Since March, Mayor Martin has participated in City Council meetings remotely when he was available to. During his absence, Mayor Pro-tempore John Hamon filled in.


Mayor Martin’s passing leaves a void throughout the community, as he leaves behind a legacy of over two decades of tireless public service and unwavering commitment to the betterment of Paso Robles and San Luis Obispo County.

Martin was first elected mayor of Paso Robles in 2014. He was elected in 2012 as a councilmember and was again elected as mayor in 2018, and again for a third term in November 2022, which would have run through 2026. He also previously served on the Paso Robles City Council from 1987 to 1996 and was selected by his peers to be mayor of Paso Robles from 1988 to 1990. Martin was a life-long resident of the North County, growing up in Atascadero and living in Paso Robles from 1973 until his passing. 

“Steve was a trusted colleague, a good friend, a thoughtful leader, and the ultimate public servant,” Hamon said. “It has been an honor to serve with him these many years. His passing is a great loss for the City Council, our community, and most especially his family. Our prayers are with his wife Jennifer, daughters, grandchildren, and extended family.”

Martin’s visionary approach and dedication to the community’s welfare earned him the respect and admiration of his colleagues, constituents, and all those who had the privilege of working alongside him. During his time on the City Council and as mayor, Martin was a strong advocate for economic development and quality of life in Paso Robles. He was instrumental in the development of the city’s downtown area and the creation of the Paso Robles Wine Festival. He was also a strong supporter of the city’s schools and parks.

Atascadero City Mayor Heather Moreno shared, “Steve and I were friends; he was talented and humble, and I loved his sense of humor. He always had a strong desire to not let our differences divide us, but to work together as a community. I will miss him.”

San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Debbie Arnold (District 5) said of the mayor’s passing to Paso Robles Press, “San Luis Obispo lost a great community member with the passing of Mayor Steve Martin. Steve grew up here and attended local schools. He was a dedicated public servant. He is an example of someone who gave back to the community he loved and knew very well. I always appreciated the history he brought to the conversation and to his time as mayor of Paso Robles. He will be missed by many.”

Supervisor John Peschong (District 1) also issued a tribute to the late mayor, “I was deeply saddened to hear of Paso Robles Mayor Steve Martin’s passing this morning. Steve was a dedicated public servant committed to serving our community. His legacy will live on as we honor his memory and commemorate his tremendous accomplishments in the City of Paso Robles.”

Assemblymember Dawn Addis (D-Morro Bay) issued following statement regarding the passing of Mayor Martin: “The Central Coast has lost a tireless and effective leader with the passing of Paso Robles Mayor Steve Martin. Mayor Martin’s vision and dedication to the city of Paso Robles and our region are an example for all of us. I have always been inspired by the way Mayor Martin served with true love for the Central Coast and I will miss him deeply. My heart is with Mayor Martin’s wife Jennifer and their children, grandchildren and loved ones during this difficult time.”

More recently, Martin was a strong supporter and the driving force behind the city applying to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for a spaceport license for the Paso Robles Municipal Airport. He frequently spoke about the spaceport with excitement and as a new opportunity that will further benefit the city’s economy.

“Mayor Martin’s impact extended far beyond his role in local government,” said City Manager Ty Lewis. “He was deeply involved in numerous civic organizations and philanthropic efforts, always striving to uplift the less fortunate and address social challenges. His compassion and dedication to public service made a lasting difference in the lives of countless individuals, leaving an indelible mark on the fabric of our community.” 

Outside of elected office and his numerous volunteer efforts, Martin was a marketing professional with more than 30 years of experience in communications including corporate communications, radio, television, newspaper, publishing, internet design, and public relations. 

San Luis Obispo County Sheriff Ian Parkinson said of Mayor Martin, “I have worked with Steve for a great many years. Not only was he a great partner with law enforcement, but he was an even better human being. Just a good and decent person who truly cared about the community and tried to make it a better place to live. He will be sorely missed.”

Martin was a yearly contributor to Paso Robles Press Magazine writing the “Mayor’s Vision” for each January issue and a “Year in Review” each December for Paso Robles Press. 

Personally, I will never forget Mayor Martin. The man who always made time for the new reporter who was always trying to find her footing. May we remember his words, written in his 2022 Year in Review:

Fast away the old year passes. I pray we all reflect on the blessings we have received and meditate on how we can use them as a platform to develop greater empathy and unity for ourselves, our families and our neighbors. 

As always, it is an honor to serve as your Mayor and, again, I urge everyone to stay informed, stay involved and stay strong Paso Robles. 

Paso Robles Main Street Association Executive Director Norma Moye worked alongside Martin for decades. After hearing of his passing, Moye stared at the empty seat he often would sit in at the Main Street office and remembered the good times. 

“I wish you were here so that when I say ‘remember when,’ I could see your smile, and we could laugh,” said Moye. 

Details regarding a public memorial service will be provided as they become available. Family representatives have informed the city they are planning a public remembrance of life events to be held sometime within the next 30 days.

As the mayor pro tempore, John Hamon will assume the powers and duties of the mayor until such time as the role of the mayor is filled. Discussion on filling the role of mayor will occur at a future City Council meeting, date to be determined.