By Callie Hietala
Martinsville City Council will host a series of informal, hour-long conversations with the public, council members, and city staff about reversion.
Each conversation will focus on a different topic—the reversion process; schools; town/city changes; taxation and finances; and jail, courts, and justice. At each meeting, participants will hear a brief introduction on the evening’s topic, followed by an opportunity to ask questions and receive answers.
Assistant City Manager and City Attorney Eric Monday recently said that, despite the public hearings and publicly posted information on reversion on both city and county websites, “there still persists multiple misconceptions concerning this process.”
As an example, he said “we frequently hear that we’re going to push all (the city’s) debt off onto the county. That simply is not the case. It’s right there in black and white in all the documents, but there’s still an enormous number of people that simply make that assumption.”
The meetings, from 6-7 p.m. in city council chambers, will be held on Tuesdays that the council does not otherwise meet.
The first round of conversations are scheduled as follows:
Tuesday, November 16: The Reversion Process
Tuesday, December 7: Schools
Tuesday, January 4, 2022: Town/City Changes
Tuesday, January 25, 2022: Taxation and Finances
Tuesday, February 1, 2022: Jail, Courts, and Justice
Meetings are limited to 12 participants per session. Anyone who wishes to participate must pre-register, either by emailing their name and address to firstname.lastname@example.org, calling (276) 403-5182, faxing (276) 403-5280, or mailing the City of Martinsville, attn: Karen Roberts, P.O. Drawer 1112, Martinsville, VA, 24114. Registration is required by noon the day before each session. Spots will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis and priority will be given to city residents. The meetings will also be televised on MGTV-21 and linked on the city’s website and social media.
Martinsville Mayor Kathy Lawson said sessions on each topic will continue until no one signs up to participate.