April 19, 2023
Jerry Barker, who has served as Whitney mayor since July 2022, is running to continue serving the city in his position.
In order to provide more transparency for citizens in city government, Barker moved City Council meetings from Monday to Thursday to allow citizens to read the agenda in the newspaper prior to council meetings.
“Upon becoming mayor, I realized the importance of information security in municipal organizations cannot be overstated. It is critical that the City of Whitney take the needed steps to protect its priority information from data breaches, unauthorized access and other disruptive data security threats to the city’s business and consumer data,” he said.
To that end, the position of director of information technology (IT) services was created and filled. “All organizations need protection from cyber attacks and digital security threats,” Barker said. “The protection of information is crucial to the strength and growth of our city. Beyond the peace of mind of our city’s residents that all of their client data is secure, strong information security keeps the city’s business operating at full capacity and reduces its susceptibility to exploitation by hostile outside forces.”
Barker pointed out that in his time as mayor, a $300,000 grant has been initiated with no match of funds from the City of Whitney to provide a comprehensive land use plan, an updated zoning map, zoning regulations and subdivision regulations.
“I have created a comprehensive pay scale plan along with written job descriptions for all city employees in an effort to be competitive in the workforce and to provide retention of our city employees,” Barker said. “I asked City Council to approve reinitiating the Planning & Zoning Commission and Board of Adjustment Commission, and the council authorized creation of a Parks Board providing two board positions to Whitney Youth Association and Whitney Wildcat Football League.”
Barker is a 1975 graduate of Whitney High School and has over 20 years of local city government and economic development experience, including: working on state projects with Texas Department of Transportation; proven business recruitment through economic development practices; land acquisition purchase, development and project management; federal and state grant programs; city hotel/motel tax management; working with the Main Street grant program; community development; planning, zoning and eminent domain; wastewater treatment plant management; and public speaking.
He also has over 10 years of experience as a certified Texas floodplain manager.
A meet-the-candidate event has been set for Saturday, April 22, at 10 a.m. at the Whitney Area Museum. There will be hot dogs and refreshments available.
The Lakelander allows all political candidates to run one free article announcing their candidacy prior to the early voting period. Word limits apply. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 254-694-4344.