Former long-time Pulaski town employee told to vacate town-owned property he’s lived on since 1981

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PULASKI, Va. (WFXR) — Macgill Park may not be used by the Town of Pulaski much these days, but the grass stays cut all thanks to the man who lives at the top of the hill, Gary Martin, who’s made quite a name for himself cutting the grass at Calfee Park in Pulaski.

Letter to Martin from Pulaski Interim Town Manager, Darlene Burcham

After almost 40 years on the Macgill property, Martin received a letter, telling him he’s being evicted and has 30 days to vacate.

“I thought it was a joke at first, actually,” said Martin’s son, also named Gary. “Then he showed me the letter, and that’ when I told him ‘Get in the truck. We’re going to go get some facts about this.'”

According to Martin’s son, Pulaski’s interim Town Manager, Darlene Burcham told him there’s no record of his dad’s agreement with the town to have his trailer on the property.

Martin, however, has proof from when he bought a new trailer in 2007.

“You sign a property agreement, allowing us to put the home on the property,” described Brandon Quesenberry, Manager at the Clayton Homes in Dublin who sold Martin his double-wide trailer in 2007. “It was actually signed by the town, as they are owners of the property.”

“They actually had a special town meeting in the train station, and they approved to put the double wide trailer there,” Martin’s son added.

WFXR News reached out to Burcham’s office for comment but did not hear back.

In the meantime, family and friends are collecting signatures for a petition to save Martin’s home. Their petition has, as of 10:31 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 9, generated nearly 1,100 signatures.

The quick outpouring of support for Martin come as no surprise to his son.

“You’re not, probably, going to find one person in this whole town or county that don’t know my father,” the son said. “I mean, he’s been immortalized on a bobblehead. They have Gary Martin days and nights at Calfee Park.”

The family hopes there can be a compromise with the town, so that Martin can buy the piece of land his trailer sits on for himself.

The family and supporters of Martin are not going to let their response to this situation stop at a petition. There is a peaceful protest scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 13, at 5:30p.m. at Jackson Park, across the street from the town’s municipal building.

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