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New mayor hopes to bring pride back to the city
BARSTOW • At 6 feet 1 inch, Barstow’s newly elected Mayor Julie Hackbarth-McIntyre stands tall at City Hall.
Her years of service on the fire board, City Council, Chamber of Commerce and Barstow College Foundation Board, in addition to being a niece to Barstow’s original 1964 Del Taco owner, make her well known in town.
“I’ve been in a fishbowl my whole life. There wasn’t anybody in the community who didn’t know who my parents were,” she said as she recounted memories of growing up in Barstow.
On any day of the week you can find her working in the kitchen at Del Taco, where she said she began at the age of 5 as a hot sauce packager.
“This is the only town where the mayor will serve you lunch every day,” she said with a smile.
Hackbarth-McIntyre first became involved in city government in 1999 when she was elected to the fire board after there was a recall of three board members, an incident she says sparked one of her biggest initiatives as mayor: transparency.
She hopes to encourage open communication between the community and city government, as city officials work feverishly to revamp Barstow’s website, adding Form 460s that detail campaign contributions and creating a more user-friendly home page.
As for her highest priorities in office, improving city infrastructure, creating jobs and beautifying Barstow top the list. During her time on the City Council she worked with fellow members, city management and San Bernardino County to receive funding for storm drainage updates that are imperative to keeping maintained roads during flash floods, she said.
“We’ve done a lot of reconstruction on the streets,” she said.
In recent years, the council has worked to upgrade and repair miles of city streets and continue the Lenwood Road grade separation project that would expand the road to two lanes and allow traffic into the business industrial park. In the coming year, the council also hopes to complete installation of a new kitchen at the Historic Harvey House that would attract more community events and parties.
“I think the underlying point, of course, is jobs. That’s been a main focal point for her vision for the next four years,” said Anthony Riley, spokesman for the city.
Hackbarth-McIntyre said she hopes to develop a revitalization plan for the downtown area and carry forward the City Council’s beautification plans.
“Sometimes Barstow can be down on itself. I want them to be proud of their community,” she said. “There are a lot of things to be proud of in Barstow. I love this community.”