For the first time in more than thirty years, there's a new man in charge of South Charleston. On Saturday, voters elected Republican Frank Mullens as their new mayor.
Frank Mullens' journey to the top spot started at age 19, working as a lifeguard in college to most recently running the Department of Public Works.
“It's definitely a story of working from the bottom up,” said Mullens. “I have worked my way from the ground up. I have worked in a variety of ways for the city.”
Now Mullens is the next mayor, taking over for long-time Mayor Richie Robb, who has been in office since 1975.
“If Mr. Mullens can do half as good of a job as Richie Robb, then South Charleston will be fine,” said Janet Jones, a resident of South Charleston.
Mullens says he wants to tackle the economy first when he takes office.
“We have to modernize our legislation that allows business to come in our city, without jumping through hoops that are ancient,” said Mullens.
The issues the public wants on his agenda vary.
“I think Joplin Park can be improved a little bit,” said Tanya Simpson, a resident of South Charleston. “It's getting a little dilapidated.”
“I’d like to see the traffic situation on Jefferson Road improve,” said Jane Rothman, a resident of South Charleston. “It needs to straighten out and widen. It's a bottleneck Monday thru Friday.”
They are concerns Mullens is eager to address, after winning his first ever election to a serve a city he loves.
Mullens defeated Democrat Mark Wolford on Saturday night with almost 64 percent of the votes. Voter turnout was at about 36 percent. Mullens will take office on July 1.