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Elgin mourns loss of former mayor

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Marc Holm, Mayor of Elgin from 2008 to 2016, died Saturday, December 7, 2019 in Lockhart, Texas.

Marc discovered Elgin while searching for production space for his family business Architectural Décor, a handcrafted tile company. Initially he leased space at 110 South Main Street and then grew into space at 115 Central Avenue and 621 Lexington Road. Not long after he moved the tile company to Elgin, Marc took residence in Elgin and became active in the community. With a background in the arts and historic preservation, he served on the Historic Review Board, the Main Street Board, the Elgin Historical Association and the Elgin Arts Association. Through his service, Marc determined that running for Mayor would be the best way that he could continue to serve his adopted hometown.

In 2008, he ran for Mayor and served four terms, until 2016 when he determined to not run for another term. During his eight years as Mayor, Marc led with the support of the City Council several new projects and initiatives that resulted in long term sustainability for the community, even after he moved to Lockhart. Marc championed Elgin at the regional and state level, bringing Elgin to the forefront for organizations such as the Capital Area Council of Governments (CAP-COG), Capital Area Rural Transportation Planning Organization (CARTPO), Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO) and the Texas Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (TOFGA).

Under Mayor Marc Holm’s leadership, the City of Elgin was selected by CAPCOG to participate in a program called Sustainable Places. Under this planning effort, the community worked with a consultant team to determine long term opportunities for sustainable economic development. The Sustainable Places Plan includes several recommendations that were implemented during his final term as mayor and have paid long term dividends for the community, including the purchase of the Union Pacific Property in downtown Elgin and the Downtown Elgin Zoning Overlay, which was recognized in 2018 as the Best Economic Game Changer by the Texas Downton Association. Marc led the restoration of the hospital on Avenue C that is now the Fleming Community Center, and under his leadership, the Mary Christian Burleson Homestead, the oldest structure in Elgin, became a priority restoration project, established its own 501(c)3 and will complete its restoration in 2020, fulfilling its mission to share the story of women pioneers in the settling of the Texas Frontier.

Marc believed that one of Elgin’s largest assets was based in the farming that occurred in and around Elgin. He saw Elgin as the place that could become the hub for sustainable farming and capitalize on the Austin Metro area’s need for a unique and consistent farm-to-table system. Through his work with the Texas Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, Elgin launched a significant Sustainable Farming program that targeted the support and development of local farms, including their ability to increase added value product development, and Elgin became the home of TOFGA and the Texas Center for Local Food. When Austin Community College approached Elgin about an election to join the Community College System, Marc was instrumental in the effort to secure a campus in Elgin that would feature two major community assets: farming and veterinary services. With a significantly positive vote to join the ACC system, the Elgin Campus on County Line Road is home to the Sustainable Agriculture Entrepreneurship Program and Veterinary Technology program, and an Early College High School program with Elgin ISD that makes college and technical training programs accessible to Elgin families.

Throughout his time as Mayor, Marc strove to involve the whole community in developing a vision for the future that was inclusive and sustainable. His kind and welcoming nature developed relationships and opened opportunities for Elgin, whose positive effects continue to be felt today.

For more information about Marc Holm and for funeral arrangements, see his obituary here.