BY RUSSELL HUFFMAN
Stephenville City Administrator Allen Barnes will be traveling to Baltimore, Maryland this weekend to be honored by the International City/County Management Association for his 40 years of membership and service in the professional society.
The ICMA is known as the brainchild for city administrators and department directors for the valuable insight and training it gives its members.
Over the last decade, the association has been turning to members like Barnes to start serving on national committees. When the ICMA found out Barnes was a member of the Texas City Management Association’s ethics committee the hunt was suddenly on to get him at the international level.
“I guess it was about seven years ago that I was approached about serving on committees with ICMA,” Barnes said. “It helps to talk with folks all over the world about the problems we have. It’s amazing how many places have the same problems as we do from budgets, street repairs and employees and all seem to have different solutions.”
Finding the solutions to problems or taking them on with a different approach are some of the eye-opening experiences Barnes has had while attending the annual meetings.
The seminars and workshops change from year to year, but they all address the problems facing those working in city government.
“I’m blessed here in Stephenville,” Barnes said. “I have inherited a great staff that is all willing to roll up their sleeves and gets to work solving a problem when it arises.”
In looking back over his career, Barnes admits he is a little amazed at how quickly time has passed by, and it seems only yesterday that he was receiving his 35-year award from ICMA.
“I’ve been very fortunate to have worked some great people in some great towns,” Barnes said as a twinkle came into his eye. “The Stephenville council laughs about me riding the fence sometimes, and it is worth getting shots from both sides because they know when I give an opinion it’s the same one I would give the other side. It’s great watching this council put aside their differences and rally to the community when needed.”
While Barnes likes to deflect praise toward his directors and employees its something special to be asked to serve on national committees and receive a 40-year award for service and dedication to one’s profession.
“Again I would have to say I am and have in the past been blessed and surrounded by great people,” Barnes said.