Wednesday, May 14, 2003

List of candidates to run Liberty now at 3



By Jennifer Edwards
The Cincinnati Enquirer

LIBERTY TWP. - The finalists for the next township administrator have been narrowed once again, from five to three.

The finalists are: Barry Tiffany, the acting township administrator and the township's zoning supervisor; Bill Covell, the former assistant to the Evendale mayor, and businessman H. Darrell Barger, the former executive director of the Butler County Transportation Improvement District.

A second round of interviews is taking place this week. The final decision should come within a month, township trustees President Christine Matacic said. "You look at all those candidates and the experience they all have, and it's going to be a tough decision," Matacic said.

Barger said he is taking a break from consulting work to help his wife start a business. According to his application letter to trustees, he was encouraged to apply for the position by West Chester Township Administrator Dave Gully.

As the former head of the Butler transportation district Barger helped push for the construction of the Michael A. Fox Highway and is knowledgeable about joint economic development districts (JEDDs).

At least one trustee, Bob Shelley, has said he thinks fast-growing Liberty Township could benefit from Barger's experience.

Liberty leaders want an eastward interchange off the Fox Highway at Interstate 75 and are forming JEDDs with Mason and perhaps Hamilton to pay for secondary road improvements near the interchange. The interchange, Liberty officials say, is key to attracting more businesses to this burgeoning township.

"I enjoy being in the public sector and doing good things for other people," said Barger, 55, of Fairfield. "I am not any kind of miracle worker. I am just very focused and work very hard."

He left TID in 1998, he said, because the Fox highway was beginning construction and he thought someone with more of a civil engineering background should lead during the project.

He said he also left partly due to a negative relationship that had developed between him and those who opposed the highway.

The other finalists, Valerie D. Pullara Adams and Thomas Maley were cut after Maley bowed out for personal reasons and Adams didn't fit the township's needs, Matacic said.

The township's previous administrator, Nell Kilpatrick, resigned effective March 1.

E-mail: jedwards@enquirer.com.




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