MARTINSVILLE, VA – During a nearly three and a half hour meeting on Tuesday, the majority of Martinsville City Council voted to terminate all proceedings regarding the reversion of the city.
The motion to adopt the resolution was made by Council member Tammy Pearson and seconded by Vice-Mayor Aaron Rawls.
“The main thing that I received from individuals, and it has been an overwhelming number of people who have contacted me, is where is the transparency and where is the public input. This is on the agenda, but we're not receiving input and that is one thing that Mrs. Pearson has spoke of many times about transparency and public input,” Council member Kathy Lawson said.
Council member Chad Martin asked that city council have 2 to 3 public comments sessions, have an informational session and wait until newcomers Mayor L.C. Jones and Rawls go through a budget session.
“Coming short of begging you, please wait. There's nothing that's costing us any money right now. Wait until you go through a budget session before you do this. If you do this right now, you're making Martinsville have to wait five more years before we can see this process,” Martin stated.
Rawls said he was not killing reversion and that it was killed by the previous government who didn’t make the case, tried to force it to its citizens and didn’t hear their voices.
“People who want to forum affective partnerships don't negotiate at gunpoint. I do not support that whatsoever. I will never be a yay vote for something like that. Folks in the county made it clear to us, we say goodbye to certain personalities, friendships might be possible again. I'm always going to aim for the possibly of a friendship and a productive relationship,” Rawls added.
Jones, Rawls, and Pearson voted to accept the resolution and Lawson and Martin voted against it.
Council also voted to establish an emergency housing and community support commission to address homelessness throughout the city.
They approved their 2023 legislative agenda and heard a presentation regarding the need for an electric rate increase.
They will pick up this matter at their next meeting.