Reversion is a Lot Like Stewed Tomatoes


The first time I ate stewed tomatoes, I gagged. My body found the taste so repulsive that reflexes kicked in to expel the substance that created such a revolting experience. A generation later, after I had developed not only a tolerance for stewed tomatoes but a genuine like for all things consisting of the delicious red plant, I found my two sons emptying the contents of a ketchup bottle on their french fries. An argument began over who was being unfair in the distribution of the condiment and eventually the responsibility fell to me to settle the dispute.

“So, you both like ketchup, is that agreed?” I asked.

Both children nodded their heads, yes.

“Do either of you like tomatoes? I asked.

Both children shook their heads, no.

“Do either of you like vinegar? I asked.

Both children shook their heads, no, more violently than before.

“Well, let’s see,” I said as I lifted the bottle of ketchup to my eyes, turning it around so I could inspect the label that listed the ingredients.

“Says right here that ketchup is mostly tomatoes and vinegar,” I stated.

Joseph couldn’t read yet, but his older brother, Danny, took the bottle and looked at it for himself. Convinced by the expression on Danny’s face, Joseph pushed the plate of fries away in disgust.

“Guess you won’t be needing this to argue over,” I said as I took the bottle from Danny and put it away.

I went in the other room and before the fries had gotten cold, both boys had gotten over the knowledge that they loved consuming a product that consisted of ingredients that they detested.

Council members, city staff, and many city residents are beginning to come around to the same way of thinking about reverting the City of Martinsville to a Town. Council has committed the $60,000 to conduct another mandated study on the matter. Considering the City’s dire financial straits, it may be safe to assume a vote to spend more money on a study is a vote for reversion. If that’s the case, then every Council member is on board now.

The issue at hand that concerns Councilwoman Jennifer Bowles and Councilman Chad Martin is something called the “dilution of the vote.” According to the 2000 census, 55 percent of the City’s population is white and 43 percent is African American. As African Americans, they contend African Americans have a better opportunity of electing their own when there are five positions on Council as opposed to one Town representative on the Henry County Board of Supervisors.

This, of course, makes the assumption that black people only vote for black people and white people only vote for white people. As a lifelong resident of the City of Martinsville, and as a white, or European American, I can say with complete conviction I don’t care what color my representative is. I don’t care what gender my representative is. But I care plenty for anyone who sits in an at-large seat with the responsibility of representing all citizens and displays favor to people of any particular color.

This country has one President. All of the country’s votes become diluted into the election of this one person. Thank God we have evolved to the point where we can say that person can be either black or white. As if it really matters, the person representing the Town of Martinsville would be a dilution of the votes of the Town. Sometimes that person would be black, sometimes white, but pray they will always be Martinsvillians first with the interest of fairly representing everyone.


  1. Former mayor Atkins claimed durung the last vote she saw numbers that indicated the city’s financial future was bright.


    What the citizens need to do is vote all them out, except the new guy.

    He deserves a chance, but the rest of council are running the city in a hole.

    If any of the disagree with my opinion, I am open to a debate. Right here online.

    .. 🙂

    Oh as far as the black vote, I assume that’s the westside vote ?

    The ones who vote one shot ?

    I don’t know why they’re so concerned about their vote they haven’t gotten anything for their vote.

    Would someone from the west side please tell me what they have gotten for voting black candidates into office.

    They had a majority on council and didn’t even bring up the human Relations committee.

    All the black community got for their vote was a community cookout and pats on the back.

    Opps I meant head.

  2. I hope all council members see that reversion is clearly the best answer for Martinsville now and in the future. There are many senior citizens supporting the city now on a fixed income. They nor any other age group can afford anymore rate hikes. If the city does not revert to a town then we will probably have to bear the burden of our real estate taxes going up. It is going to be interesting to see how much population we have lost when the next federal census rolls around. That will mean less people keeping up this small city. We can still help our downtown to thrive as a town-we can still have our police dept, fire dept. and hopefully our electric dept. However, the prospect of any big business coming to the City of Martinsville is not exactly on the horizon and that is what we need. That ship has sailed and we need to simply go ahead and revert.

  3. If you are a city resident and a city voter please consider voting for a candidate that is in favor of reversion. We are losing population every year here in the city and there are fewer and fewer city residents supporting our small city. There is no shame in reverting to a town. There are some folks that are of the opinion that we will have less clout as a town instead of a city. My opinion is who needs clout when you are paying less for real estate taxes and you overall cost of living will stay the same or be even less. I would say that is a win-win for all citizens. Please call your city council members if you are in charge of reversion and let them know how you feel, especially if you want reversion. They’re not going to know unless we all speak up.


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