UPDATE 8:45 p.m.: On Wednesday, the Henry County Board of Supervisors made a unanimous vote in favor of a voter referendum of the City of Martinsville to approve the city’s reversion to a town within Henry County.
This reversion would mean that Martinsville would no longer be an independent city, but rather a town within Henry County.
This brings many concerns for some citizens, but the board says they do want to hear from the public.
While some think it’s a great idea, George Lyle, the County Attorney for Henry County, says others don’t.
The referendum will give residents a chance to vote before an order is entered.
“As the reversion process has moved along, citizens have made it clear they want more of a say in the process about schools and consolidation and services,” Lyle said.
The reversion would mean that Martinsville City Public Schools would dissolve into Henry County Public Schools and all cases in the Martinsville City Court system would fall under Henry County.
In addition, the city would no longer have a sheriff or any constitutional officers. Instead, Henry County would provide those services.
According to Board of Supervisors Chairman Jim Adams, another big concern for residents is the possible annexation of county property, saying it “would basically allow the city to glean revenue from what was county property and the county would lose that revenue.”
Adams says due to a large number of changes that would impact daily life for residents, they should all have a chance to voice their opinion.
“To our citizens, were listening to you, we hear you, we know that you want to be a part of the process and we understand that maybe this rushed along too quickly,” said Adams.
The board says the referendum will be on the ballot during one future election.
MARTINSVILLE, Va. (WFXR) – Virginia Sen. Bill Stanley has proposed a bill to allow Martinsville voters to decide the future of Martinsville’s status – whether it will stay as a city or revert to town status and become a part of Henry County.
In a short meeting on Wednesday evening, the Henry County Board of Supervisors took that bill to a vote.
Stanley, who represents both the City of Martinsville and Henry County, created the bill which was voted in favor of during Wednesday’s night’s Board of Supervisors’ meeting.
This comes as the city and county have been working for over two years on that reversion agreement.
This is a developing story that will be updated.