PULASKI, Va. (WFXR) — On Tuesday afternoon, dozens rallied outside the Pulaski town municipal building to show their support for Gary Martin, a former longtime employee of the town who was given an eviction notice in late September by interim town manager, Darlene Burcham.
Those in attendance at the protest on Tuesday, Oct. 13, shouted, “This is not OK. Let Gary Martin stay.”
“I’m just asking for the little place that my home sits on,” Martin said.
The land is Macgill Park, an old sports recreation park that’s rarely used by the town, as Pulaski no longer has recreation sports. Martin has been on the property since 1981.
During the protest, Pulaski Mayor Shannon Collins came out to speak with Martin and his family. WFXR News was not able to catch the mayor for a comment, but Martin says Collins put the eviction on hold.
Martin now has some confidence in his fight to keep his home where it stands, but the miscommunication within the municipal building has him concerned.
“They’re not on the same page,” Martin said. “I go to one and ask the same questions, and they’ll switch me over to the other one and say its their decision. Now I got to go back to the town council.”
This time, Martin will go before the town council more prepared than before.
“I got people that are behind me, which is what the town council and the acting town manager asked me to do, so now I got backup,” Martin said.
“We have 1,800 signatures here right now, saying to either give the property to him or sell the property to him,” Martin’s son, Gary, said.
Martin is not opposed to buying the land his trailer sits on. In fact, he says he’s tried several times. All that matters to him is that the council allows him to stay.
“That home means everything to me,” Martin said. “That’s what I’ve worked 40 years for.”
“I’m hoping that they will agree, pretty much to either sell it, give it to him, whatever. I hope they come up with something,” the son said.
Martin and his supporters are preparing to go before the town council on Tuesday, Oct. 20.
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