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Council to elect mayor, vice mayor at meeting

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

By MICKEY POWELL - Bulletin Staff Writer

Kim Adkins is likely to be re-elected Martinsville’s mayor on Wednesday.

That is according to impressions that she and Martinsville City Councilman Mark Stroud have received in talks with other council members.

“But you never know what’s going to occur” at a council meeting, Adkins said.

The council will hold a special organizational meeting at 9 a.m. Wednesday at the municipal building uptown. Sharon Brooks Hodge, who was elected to the council on Nov. 6, will be sworn into office, and Stroud and Councilman Danny Turner, who were re-elected, will take new oaths.

Martinsville Circuit Court Clerk Ashby Pritchett also will administer oaths to whoever is elected mayor and vice mayor.

Unlike many cities where mayors are elected by voters, Martinsville’s mayor is a two-year post elected by the council from among its five members.

The mayor presides over council meetings, but the post largely is ceremonial — the mayor’s vote is no more important than other council members’ votes.

Adkins, executive director of the West Piedmont Workforce Investment Board and former president of the Martinsville-Henry County Chamber of Commerce, has been mayor since July 2010.

Due to city elections being shifted from May to November, organizational meetings now will be held in January — when new council members will be sworn in — instead of July.

Adkins said she expressed to council members her desire to serve another term as mayor and “I didn’t get any negative feedback.”

“I would graciously accept” another term if the council votes for her, she said.

“I think Mayor Adkins will continue in that position,” Stroud said, based on conversations with his fellow council members.

He brought up the issue, he said, because he “had aspirations ... about me becoming the mayor.” He mentioned that some people who voted for him in November told him they want to see him lead the council.

But in talking with other council members, he said, “what they told me” is that they plan to re-elect Adkins.

“I was disappointed at first,” Stroud said, “but I decided to move on ... and do my job as a councilman to the best of my ability.”

He emphasized that he now supports Adkins continuing as mayor.

“She has a strong business mind,” Stroud said. Council members Gene Teague and Danny Turner could not be reached for comment on Monday.

Adkins is one of only two women — Kathy Lawson is the other — to have served as Martinsville’s mayor.

When Adkins was elected mayor in 2010, it was the first time in 60 years that a council member was chosen for the post right after being sworn into his or her first council term, city records showed.

During Wednesday’s special council meeting, Hodge will be sworn in to succeed Kimble Reynolds Jr., who chose not to seek re-election to a third council term.

Hodge, a political newcomer, would not say who she supports being mayor, but she said she is not interested in the post right now. She said she thinks the mayor should be an experienced council member.

In the past two weeks, Hodge has met with city department heads to learn about the city’s budget and operations. She said she is eager to get started as a council member and has no jitters.


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