Councilman seeks 5th term

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Mitch Pendlum

GREENFIELD – A four-term city council member is running for four more years.

Republican Mitch Pendlum looks to keep one of Greenfield City Council’s two at-large seats. He faces John Jester and Dan Riley.

Pendlum has lived in Greenfield almost all of his life. He said his motivation for being on the council is an extension of his drive to serve. That quality was instilled in him by his mother and her love of volunteering, he said, something he’s practiced throughout his life as well.

Despite a draft deferment from getting drafted during the Vietnam War, Pendlum volunteered for the U.S. Marine Corps and served in Vietnam for 13 months in 1968 and 1969. He has also volunteered at Hancock Regional Hospital, for Meals on Wheels and as an officer for his homeowners association.

He worked for over 31 years at NineStar Connect, a utility cooperative, which he said left him well versed in the important municipal function of utilities.

Pendlum said he has met a lot of people and made a lot of friends while serving on city council. He feels that has provided him with insight into what the people of Greenfield want so that he can represent it through decisions he helps make as an elected official.

Wherever he goes, he gives people his card and tells them to call him if they need anything, he said.

“I get called all the time,” Pendlum said. “…They trust me, they know me, they believe in me, and so they’re going to call me.”

He added he has an affability that serves as an asset for him as a council member.

“I can talk to anybody about anything,” he said.

Pendlum is proud of being part of city leadership that developed a new animal shelter and Depot Street Park. He said he thinks about the whole city when considering decisions.

“It’s what’s good for all of us,” he said.

The longtime council member has seen the city go through a lot of growth and said it’s important to prepare for more.

“It needs fine-tuning because you can’t just keep growing and not look ahead 10, 15 years from now,” Pendlum said. “I wish we’d done that long ago. People didn’t look ahead. It’s fast becoming a city where people want to be.”

He wants to help ensure the city has enough homes new residents will need, from low income to high income. Rental homes should not be a large part of that picture, however, he continued.

“I want people with roots, and the only way to get roots is to go to church, schools, organizations,” he said.

While the city grows, it’s shrinking in another regard, Pendlum said.

“We lose a lot of young people,” he said. “I want them to come back to Greenfield after they get through school and their education – come back here and raise a family like I did.”

Pendlum wishes the city would be better when it comes to maintaining infrastructure, particularly roads. He said he’s often told that there isn’t enough money to do so.

“That’s a bad answer,” he said. “We can do something to show people we’re trying to do something, but we’ve let it go so long. …We’ve let this happen over a period of time and I don’t know if we’ll ever get caught up.”

He recalled the road impact fee the city created in recent years requiring developers to pay into a fund specifically for road upkeep. Pendlum said while it’s a good strategy, it came far too late.

“That should’ve been done 20 years ago, and that money would’ve been building up or being used for our streets,” he said.

The Greenfield City Council at-large race is one of several in the upcoming primary election, which is May 2.