2,000 vacant properties in Lake Worth, Mayor says

The mayor of Lake Worth says there are nearly 2,000 vacant properties in the city with 12,000 households.

But she says that number is on the decline -- partly because of Luis Martinez.

Martinez is the city's building official. He retired after working for the city of West Palm Beach for thirty years, but decided to come back to work for the city of Lake Worth.

"I am definitely in for the challenge. This is my hometown and I feel like I want to give something back," Martinez said.

Martinez raised his children in Lake Worth and has lived in the city for almost two decades.

"There is a lot to do here and I just tell myself every day do what you can and you will see the results sooner than later," Martinez said.

Martinez surveys homes in the city and helps decide which ones should be demolished.

He says there are as many as forty right now that could potentially qualify for demolition.

"When these houses come down, and these eyesores are taken down, people are going to have pride in their community," Lake Worth Mayor Pam Triolo said.

Martinez could be surfing or playing golf, but instead, he is serving the city he loves.

"I'm a worker type of guy. Doesn't matter if they have 5 jobs or a 100 waiting. I'll just do them until I'm done," Martinez said.

The process to demolish a home can be long and time consuming, with many legalities that must be worked out before crews can move in.

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