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Barney announces candidacy for Berkeley County Council

December 28, 2009

INWOOD, W.Va. -- Berkeley County Democratic Executive Committee member Matthew Barney has announced his candidacy for the Berkeley County Council.

The 30-year-old Inwood-area native said in a news release that he hopes to draw from his years of experience working in Jefferson and Berkeley county government to bring about positive change.

Barney currently works as an appraiser in Jefferson County Assessor Angela L. "Angie" Banks' office.

"Policy made at the county level directly impacts the lives of citizens every day, so I believe it is critical that local government be transparent, efficient and responsive," Barney said in the news release.

If elected, Barney said he would focus on improving communication between elected officials and greater fiscal responsibility by "reining in wasteful spending and smarter use of technologies in county government."

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Barney said he would seek opportunities to increase the county's economic base, including agritourism, and historic preservation and promotion. He also said he would support a "common-sense approach to development that replaces haphazard, irresponsible sprawl with thoughtful planning" to improve the county's quality of life and business climate.

"I want to work on behalf of all Berkeley County residents to preserve the unique qualities that make this a beautiful and prosperous place to live," he said in the release. "Ever-changing needs will require great dedication and innovative thinking. I truly look forward to the opportunities and challenges ahead, and meeting the people of Berkeley County along the way."

The five-member Berkeley County Council will replace the current three-member commission when the new members take office in 2011.

In the primary election, Barney is vying to be the Democratic Party's nominee from the Valley Magisterial District, one of four "open" voting districts that candidates for council in 2010 must reside in upon filing for office, according to County Clerk John W. Small Jr.'s office. Two districts, Norborne and Tuscarora, are closed because incumbents Anthony J. "Tony" Petrucci and William L. "Bill" Stubblefield, who are not up for re-election, were elected from them.

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