Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

May 19, 2013

Whittle deserving of front-page story

Bluefield Daily Telegraph

— The page one headline in a recent edition went to a gal convicted of robbery, while the guy who led Bluefield’s city government through what could be argued as one of the city’s roughest periods gets only an obit. That ain’t right.

When Randy Whittle applied for the job of city manager, Bluefield was undergoing something akin to the Irish potato famine. Revenue was in freefall, and there was no light to be seen at the end of what was hoped to be a tunnel. Whittle was young, single, energetic, sharp (he was promoted to full lieutenant in three years) and had a degree in government administration. It was under his leadership that the city underwent the inevitable contraction which resulted from mechanization of the mining industry, survived a major police department scandal and obtained a federal redevelopment grant to renovate Bluefield Avenue. Mitchell led Bluefield during glory years, but I know of no other city manager who commanded more respect of the citizens than Randolph G. Whittle. For those who remember, he’s worth more than an obit.

Joe Hall