RAINELLE, W.Va. (WVDN) – After retiring as Rainelle’s mayor in 2016, Andrea “Andy” Pendleton is putting her hat back in the ring. She says she wants to make a difference in the West Virginia town she calls home.
Speaking about her latest bid for mayor, Pendleton said, “I care about Rainelle, and I care about the people.”
Pendleton previously served as mayor for eight years, retiring on July 1, 2019. The following day, on July 2, West Virginia Governor Jim Justice honored her as a Distinguished West Virginian.
Throughout her time working in the community, Pendleton has experienced damage from a terrible derecho storm in 2012 and mass devastation from flooding in 2016. Each time the town faces adversity, she said she has watched the community come together to rebuild.
Pendleton couldn’t help but brag about her city, listing the many assets it offers. Among the things she mentioned were the churches, which she said welcome everyone. She also spoke about the Meadow River, area businesses and residents. No matter what the topic of conversation, Pendleton always expresses her love for the people of Rainelle. She said, “I enjoy working for the town, working for the people. I look forward to, hopefully, coming back as mayor.”
Talking about her penchant for walking around the town, Pendleton said, “I always walk down the street, and I walk up the mountains. I go all the way around.” While out, she stated that people often come up to her for a chat. “[People] come up to me. They would say, ‘I miss you, Andy,’ and when they found out I was running for mayor, every place I go, people respond to me. They’re glad I’m running for mayor.”
One thing Pendleton hopes to address, should she be elected, is the continued closure of City Hall. Like all public buildings, the Rainelle City Hall closed its doors to the public at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Unlike most, the building has remained closed with some exceptions.
“They haven’t opened the doors. They have a door people can use to pay bills, but I feel the building belongs to the town, belongs to the citizens. It’s our building, and they keep it locked, and I don’t appreciate that much,” Pendleton said.
Additionally, Pendleton said she wants to see the vacant properties filled. She said she also wants to see continued improvement efforts, noting the many projects that have already been accomplished.
Pendleton also spoke about the difficult job the mayor and council members face every day. She said, “It’s a hard thing to be mayor and to be the council and please people, but I’ve done that all my life, and I feel like I’m part of a family out there.” Pendleton continued, “I’m ready to go forward and try to make a difference.”
In addition to her previous efforts as mayor, Pendleton is also part of the Community Development Corporation. She said, “I’ve been working on it for years. When I was previously the mayor, I couldn’t be president [of the Community Development Corporation], but I was one of the ones that helped shape it and form it.”
When talking about her campaign, Pendleton said, “I get out and meet people. I care about people and talk to people. I go out and work when it’s needed; I’m a working mayor.”
If Pendleton is elected, she said she looks forward to working with the council, the town and the people. She noted that running a city must be a group effort saying, “One person can’t do it alone. I look forward to working together with the council.”
he upcoming election is June 13; contact City Hall at 304-438-7191 for more information.