Martinsville Bulletin, Inc.
P. O. Box 3711
204 Broad Street
Martinsville, Virginia 24115
Toll Free: 800-234-6575
Editorial: City races important
Sunday, October 7, 2012
The field of candidates in the Martinsville City Council election may be shrinking, but that should not lessen voters’ interest in the Nov. 6 race.
Last week, Jay R. Engstrom withdrew his candidacy, citing the demands of his job as a special agent with the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control’s Bureau of Law Enforcement. In September, James R. “Jim” Clark bowed out of the race due to health reasons.
That leaves four candidates for three seats on city council — incumbents Mark S. Stroud Sr. and Danny Turner, and political newcomers Sharon Brooks Hodge and James N. “Jim” Woods.
Whoever is elected to council will face serious issues, from the city’s declining tax revenue to its consideration of reverting to town status. Encouraging growth and uptown redevelopment; maintaining quality public services, such as education, law enforcement and fire protection; and getting the best deal for electric customers are among the never-ending challenges for Martinsville.
These and other city issues hit residents close to home, making the council election an especially important one on the November ballot in Martinsville. But because this is the first time the city election will be held in the fall, there is a concern that the race will get lost in all the politics and rhetoric of the national elections.
To avoid that, we encourage city voters to spend time studying all the candidates on the ballot — for the presidency, U.S. Senate, House of Representatives as well as city council — and decide who they think will best handle the challenges of the future.