Atop one of Globe’s hills, renovated water tanks gleam with a fresh coat of paint; down below, along Pinal Creek, work has started on a long-needed bridge. Those projects – the new Upper Pinal Creek Bridge (aka Connie’s Bridge) and the Hagen water tanks renovation - are only part of the legacy of City Engineer Jerry Barnes, who retired last week after almost nine years with the City.
City councilmembers and staff recognized Barnes’ service during last Tuesday’s council meeting. That service started in the summer of 2014, when he was hired as the city’s public works director – making the move from Miami, where he served as town manager. He played a key role in bringing the two projects above, and much more, to fruition.
In honoring Barnes Tuesday evening, City Manager Paul Jepson recounted his “extensive knowledge of municipal infrastructure,” “professionalism,” “sense of competition” and “no-holds-barred sense of humor.” Jepson also listed some of Barnes’ many accomplishments, which included securing funding to replace both Connie’s Bridge and the Cottonwood Bridge, sidewalk and paving projects in downtown Globe, maximizing use of WIFA funding, rehabilitation of the city’s wastewater facility and encouraging everyone to do their best. “You’ve inspired and challenged all of us,” said Jepson.
“There’s not a piece of infrastructure in this city you haven’t touched or found money for,” Councilman Jesse Leetham said to Barnes; Councilman Mike Pastor added that he would be sorely missed. Councilman Freddy Rios thanked Barnes for his “kind words and leadership.”
“I found a family here. What’s great about working here is the camaraderie,” Barnes remarked that evening. “We’ve had a great time, a great run. What I really like about working here is not only the people you work with, but the people (citizens and business owners) you work for. I’m absolutely going to miss the people here and the work here.”