Pinehurst Mayor Sarah McClendon talks about embracing her role and pushing for awareness – Orange Leader

Pinehurst Mayor Sarah McClendon talks about embracing the role and pushing for awareness

Posted at 12:08 a.m. on Wednesday, August 31, 2022

PINEHURST — Sarah McClendon, the new mayor of Pinehurst, has made it her mission to knock on doors, show up and find solutions to the town’s problems.

“When I ran for mayor, my platform was to clean up the city, fix the drainage problem and create growth,” McClendon said. “Due to the hurricanes and the devastation they have caused to our city and our people, we hope to resolve the matter as soon as possible. At this time, we are waiting for the County and Judge John Gothia to make us know where we are, and it can take a year between budgeting and hiring contractors.

Former mayor Pete Runnels asked McClendon to run for office because of his persistence and determination to fix the city, she said.

“At the time, I had been a member of the city council for seven years,” she said. “During this time, we fought to have our streets paved. It took a year to get the grants approved, and then it took another six months to start the program. After nine months, the roads were restored. We also replaced the pipes in our sewer system. We received subsidies for our lifting station and replaced our generators.

McClendon said it’s important to her to make sure residents feel safe and have their opinions heard.

“At a council meeting, a resident came in and raised concerns about a golf cart ordinance,” she said. “After the meeting, I felt it was important to go to his house to talk to him more. It takes a lot to sit in front of a city council, and I wanted him to know that we are there for him.

“And I follow up with every single person who comes to me to provide solutions to their issues that are in my control. It’s a hard thing to feel like you have a problem and you’re not being heard, you have to so resorting to a town council.Being kind to the people who work, live and raise families and want to be here in Pinehurst is important to me.

Mayor Sarah McClendon and the aldermen of Pinehurst go through the swearing-in process in May. (Courtesy picture)

A grant approving construction for a seniors’ residence can open up properties for young families to reside in.

“It will be a 60-unit facility on Highway 90,” she said. “I want to see Pinehurst grow with more families, and we’re getting new families.”

When McClendon showed up for mayor, she went door to door to greet everyone.

“I learned a lot doing this,” she said. “I met a new family and they thought it was really cool to have a member of the city council running for mayor personally welcome them. Since then, I’ve been back to their house several times to check on them. Most of the town knows where I live.

McClendon said the city is a great place for growing families and aims to appeal to that demographic.

“The Town of Pinehurst can offer things that a big city can’t compete with, like emergency response time, from drainage issues to garbage pickup,” she said. “Quick response time is something this city is used to. You don’t get that in big cities. Our school district is West Orange-Stark, and we also have a lot of small businesses. It’s a nice place to raise a family.

Parks and Wildlife is working with the city to create space for outdoor activities.

“On Park Avenue, I want a large staging area,” she said. “A pavilion, picnic tables and barbecues in the park and a boat launch on Adams Bayou. We have a lot of fishermen and they want to use the area.

From repairing roads and drainage to welcoming new residents, McClendon cares about the health and safety of the community of Pinehurst.

To contact Maj. Sarah McClendon, call City Hall at 409-886-3873.

— Written by Sierra Kondos

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