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Martinsville, Virginia 24115
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New year, new resolutions for leaders

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

By DEBBIE HALL - Bulletin Staff Writer

A new year brings new hopes, new aspirations and new goals.

Following is a sample to get others thinking about opportunities in 2013.

Henry County Administrator Tim Hall hopes for “peace, prosperity and a permit (to begin work on) Commonwealth Crossing Business Centre” in the coming year.

The county and others have been working to get a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to begin work on a grading project at Commonwealth Crossing, a new industrial park near the Virginia/North Carolina line.

The corps has not issued a permit because it considers the project to be speculative. But Hall said discussions between the corps and the county are continuing.

“As long as we are talking,” there is a chance of reaching a mutually beneficial agreement, he said.

Henry County Sheriff Lane Perry said his goals for 2013 include appreciating “life a little more and the quality of relationships.”

Settling into his new position, Henry County Fire Marshal Pete Draper said he will “try to improve my health” in 2013.

Draper, who recently was named fire marshal, said he also plans to “take the position I have, run with it and do the best job I can do with it.”

Horsepasture District Supervisor Debra Buchanan said that she normally doesn’t make resolutions, “but if I did, of course, I always want to think and hope the economy will pick up.”

Although “that’s not something in my control,” Buchanan said she “will continue to do whatever I can to make sure that I work in the best interest of Henry County.”

She also needs to eat healthier. “I can’t say I will, but I need to” in 2013, Buchanan said.

Collinsville District Supervisor Joe Bryant said his resolutions read more like a wish list than anything else.

“Some are far-fetched because I’d wish that industries would move back to this area and that we can get back to the good ole days” in terms of the number of available jobs, he said.

Although Bryant said he knows the type of industries that were here will not return, “I’d like to see more industries move here to put people back to work instead of people moving away from here. I’d like to see Commonwealth Crossing taken care of” and work begin, he said. “I still think that’s our future.”

In addition to funds to build Interstate 73, Bryant also hopes that other economic development projects will be completed in 2013, and “I’d like to see people’s business come back to a moderate range. A lot of small businesses like me are hurting because business has been so slow, and I’d like to see that pick back up.”

Overall though, “if I had to wish for something, I wish we could put our people back to work,” Bryant said.

Patrick County Sheriff Dan Smith said he resolves to “spend more time with my family” in 2013.

Martinsville Commonwealth’s Attorney Joan Ziglar’s resolutions have been affected by the mass shootings that have occurred around the county.

“Right now, with all the mass shootings, it’s really had impact on me,” she said. “I just want to love those people, spend time with people I love, cling closer to my Lord and savior, and do the best job I can possibly do for city of Martinsville.”

Ziglar said she was especially touched by the shooting deaths of 20 children at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut on Dec. 14. “Sandy Hook broke my heart,” she added.

Martinsville Sheriff Steve Draper said he plans to “continue to work on enjoying my good health and trying to maintain my good health by proper eating habits and exercise.”

Draper also has a goal “to do whatever I can to help this community prosper, to do whatever I can to work with those in city or the county or both to try to form a professional unity between all of us” and encourage businesses to move here.

Martinsville Police Chief Mike Rogers hopes to “continue our efforts to provide the highest level of law enforcement and protection to our residents.”

That can be accomplished “by pulling together with all local, state and federal law enforcement agencies,” he said.

“And like everybody else, I’m real hopeful that we’ll get some more jobs coming in” the area, Rogers said.

Martinsville City Councilman Danny Turner said his goals include doing whatever he can to see construction begin on the New College Institute building in uptown Martinsville, and ensuring “the construction starts on the Henry Hotel” that is not paid for by city taxpayers.

Councilman Mark Stroud said that while he is “not big on making resolutions, if I was going to make one, it would be for me to continue to work for the direction the city is going in, to strive to work harder, and to love my neighbor.”


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