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Letter: Rodricucuz Vaughn
Building loss bemoaned

Friday, January 25, 2013

In reading the story, “Phoenix drops construction plan on Fayette Street; neighborhood concerns” (Thursday Martinsville Bulletin), I was truly amazed. In the condition that Martinsville and Henry County remain in, I was both shocked and angry at the same time.

Residents and property owners would truly be concerned about development uptown. Have you looked at uptown lately? It is a ghost town. I think that this would have been a very positive thing, and I applaud NCI (New College Institute) for having an interest in building in uptown. The development of the Phoenix building would have added to NCI and uptown. This is what you need; you need to draw people back into the city district, not run them out.

What message does this send to perspective businesses? Martinsville cannot afford to turn businesses away. Have you looked around lately? What was a vibrant place is no longer. I just think that Martinsville and Henry County have suffered enough due to lack of strong, willing leadership that is willing to turn things around for the better and take risks. What happened to leaders of this area such as William Letcher Pannill, who stopped at nothing to make Martinsville a place of industry and commence? Change is always good, and that is a concept that has hurt Martinsville and Henry County the most. Some people want things to stay the same, not for the good, it appears, but for the worst.

“Naomi Hodge-Muse, president of the Martinsville-Henry County NAACP, said she thinks the building is not needed right now and funds for its construction could be better spent on workforce training efforts” (Martinsville Bulletin, Nov. 15). While I have always respected the work of Hodge-Muse, I would have to disagree with her on this. If you build it, people will come. Do not turn away any growth as long as it is done properly.

While I agree workforce training is needed for the area, Martinsville’s workforce is no longer what it was in the 1990s. The population has decreased drastically, but it is because of no change. Most young people have moved or continue to move away. Shame on the leaders of Martinsville and Henry County. When will the leaders of Martinsville and Henry County wake up? That is the question every citizen of this area should ask.

Again, drive around town. Take your blinders off, and you will see a city and county that are hurting like a wounded soldier in the war trenches. He cannot get out of the trench to get help and other soldiers just keep passing him by to get on the other side of the battlefield.

Rodricucuz Vaughn

Charlottesville, formerly of Martinsville


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