Council At-Large

Marty Novak

Marty Novak was elected to serve on City Council in 2018.
A St. Joseph native, Marty grew up in the South Side, a proud Benton High School Cardinal. He attended Missouri Western State University when the trees on campus were just saplings. Marty retired from the News-Press and Gazette Company after nearly 44 years of service. Through the years, Marty has combined his extensive background in business and management with service to our community. He has participated in a vast number of civic, business, professional and religious organizations and served our city on a multitude of community boards and committees.
Marty and his wife Rosemary are proud of St. Joseph and believe in our city’s future. They have lived all of their lives in St. Joseph, and are members of St. Francis Xavier Parish. Marty has worked hard the past four years bringing fresh representation and new ideas to the St. Joseph City Council. He is very involved, meeting with St. Joseph citizens, businesses, organizations, and groups.
Marty believes that working together with constituents and addressing their concerns, we can continue to do better!.


Our Candidate Summary

Socially Conservative
Fiscal Conservative

These assessments are based on the answers or lack of answers supplied by the candidates. Marty’s responses indicate a socially conservative and fiscally conservative position.

Marty on the Issues

Do you support competition in Buchanan County’s healthcare?

Yes, I feel competition is a good thing. Competition improves quality, efficiency, inspires innovation, gives people a choice, and drives down costs.


How do you feel the mask mandate went in St. Joseph?

I feel the mask mandate served its purpose at the time. While I’m not a proponent of mandates, I believe individuals are capable of making their own decisions on wearing a mask. I do respect private business decisions on requiring masks in their establishments. Remember, the original purpose of the mask mandate was to ensure that our healthcare institutions were not overwhelmed. That’s why in March 2021, I presented the resolution before the council to eliminate the mask mandate in St. Joseph which was passed. I stand by that.

Do you support requiring photo ID to vote?

I believe voting is a sacred privilege and must be protected. I fully agree the Missouri Voter ID Requirement Amendment passed in 2016 requiring the presentation of voter IDs at public elections in order to prove national and state citizenship.

If faced with a budget deficit, would you support or oppose cutting spending rather than increasing taxes?

I believe we must be fiscally responsible with the $167 million annual budget. As with my personal budget, I believe we need to make sure we’re getting the most bang from every buck. If we don’t have it, we can’t spend it. Looking at all options and sources of alternative revenues as well as operational efficiencies, reduced spending, and austerity must be exhausted before ever looking at raising taxes.

If the council were given $1M to use to fund projects in St. Joseph, what would you fund?

A one-time gift of $1 million could be put to great use on a concerted effort on helping eliminate derelict buildings and blight. Using $250,000 a year, for four years could go a long way. It could be used for increased property maintenance and code enforcement and increased demolition of derelict, abandoned, and condemned buildings and properties.

Do you believe in equity (equal outcome) or equality (equal opportunity)?

I believe in Equality, in which every individual is given the same opportunities to excel, prosper and grow.

How does St. Joseph compare to Kansas City? What lessons can each city learn from each other?

St. Joseph is a community where people care about each other. We have many organizations that exist specifically to help those in need. St. Joseph is easy to get around and navigate. St. Joseph has a rich history spanning all the way back to the Pony Express and Jesse James. Multiple St. Joseph Museums help keep this history alive. Saint Joseph has a fantastic Arts community, tremendous architecture. St. Joseph has all the retail shopping, entertainment – concerts, festivals – and amenities of a Kansas City but without the hassle.

Merrick Garland stated that the greatest threat comes from racially or ethnically motivated violence, “specifically those who advocated for the superiority of the white race”. Do you agree or disagree?

The text penned by Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence states my belief, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Are there circumstances where the city council can restrict the church from assembling? If so, under which circumstances?

I’m aware of no circumstances that the council could restrict free assembly of churches, nor would I ever support the City of St. Joseph restricting churches from gathering.