Council Faced with Major Budget Cut and Likely Tax Increase
City Councilwoman, Kathy Lawson, said in a previous term she had presided over the most difficult budget in the history of the City of Martinsville. Now in a new term, new administration, mostly new faces on Council, Lawson is finding common ground. City Manager Leon Towarnicki says the upcoming budget will “present some of the most significant challenges the city has faced.” In other words, Lawson is about to break her own record. Council has charged Towarnicki with proposing two budgets; one will evenly reduce funding to all department equally while the second will exclude schools and public safety, meaning deeper cuts to the rest. Regardless of how it’s done, Council must balance a $29.2 million dollar budget, down about $1 million from the year before. The Administration indicates a tax increase is likely to be included no matter what plan is presented.