Meet the City Council candidates
By Robin Scott
The City of Dalhart’s Mayor Kevin Caddell is pleased to continue serving the city. As Mayor for the past four years, Kevin’s dedication to the city dates back to early adulthood. Kevin served as a member of city council for 10 years from 1990 to 2000. He attributes his enthusiasm for service to the harmony of the entire city council, city manager and city employees. He noted, “The city has an excellent city council and management staff. Our council is very diverse, which means we have a lot of different opinions, but everyone works so well together. No one is afraid to voice their opinion. When you have harmony, you can get a lot more things accomplished.”
During the next two years Kevin is looking forward to the continued growth in the area. Growth that he states is very orderly. He also states, “There has been so much growth in the last few years and it has lead to some zoning issues. Zoning and code enforcement has worked very well, and I look forward to seeing that continue.”
According to Kevin, the city has made great strides in many areas, including the police department with new vehicles in this past year. He commented, “I’d like to see that enhanced too. All of our departments work very well, and they support one another.”
The Caddell family has been in Dalhart for more than 85 years. Kevin was born and raised in Dalhart and graduated from DHS in 1975. He went on to earn his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Advertising in 1979 from Texas Tech University. He owns Furniture Fashions in Dalhart, where his mother, Earlene Caddell, continues to work with him side by side every day. His father, Caylor Caddell, passed away in 2000. He attributes much of his love for city government to his father’s own love of civil service.
Kevin stated, “We have such wonderful city employees and staff and a
terrific city manager. Our city is really the talk of the panhandle because of the way our city works together. It’s a very diverse population. Many people choose to live here and have moved here from many different places, like California.” The industries in Dalhart have contributed to its growth as well, according to Kevin. He noted, “With Hilmar Cheese coming in and the dairies, we have experienced quite a bit of growth. Not everyone that is new to Dalhart came from California, however, so again, we have such a great diverse group of people. People who live here genuinely enjoy living here.”
Lola Barrow is a veteran of the city council, having served four – two year terms in the late 90’s, early 2000’s. She represented the citizens of Ward 1. This year, Lola returns to the council representing Ward 1. Lola and husband, Boyd Barrow, met while both attended Dalhart High School. They are members of the People’s Church. Boyd has worked for Atmos Energy for the past 23 years. Lola spent many years at home with the couple’s three children while they were young. All of the children are now grown. Coby, the oldest Barrow son and his wife Rita live in Dalhart. Coby works for Union Pacific Railroad and Rita is head of the Math Department for DHS. Middle son, Chris and his wife, Hannah, live in Canyon. Both work for Amarillo ISD. Chris teaches at Westover Junior High School and Hannah is a counselor at Oakdale Elementary School. Youngest child and daughter, Kelly and her husband, Trevor Scherlen, reside in Amarillo. Kelly is a first grade teacher at Humphries Highland Elementary School in Amarillo. Trevor is a police officer for the Amarillo Police Department. The Barrows have four grandkids.
According to Lola, “We have a good council, and we will all work well together. I’ve served with Kevin, Zelda and Phillip in the past and I’m looking forward to serving with them again.” Lola stated that having been in Dalhart most of her life has been very good because most people know who she is. She noted that many people are timid about going to city council meetings and may be afraid to give their opinion, but they will call her and let her know what they’re thinking and feeling. She stated, “It’s good to be a spokesperson for the community.”
Lola, who works for First State Bank, enjoys public service and commented, “I enjoy just being a good contact person to help with people’s issues.” She recalled that in her eight prior years sitting on the council, “We just got a lot done. There are still issues that need attention, like the paving project on the north side. There are so many street issues that need to be taken care of. I’m willing to do whatever it takes to get things done.” Although Lola did enjoy her four-year break from serving on the council, she stated, “I’m glad to be back.”
The 2009 election for City Council is the first for incumbent David Bierbaum. David agreed to step in when Louis Griego left the council to move away. He has been sitting as a member of the council for Ward 4 for a year and a half. He noted, “I never had an interest in city government before, but I agreed and stepped in. I have enjoyed learning about how city government works, and all that it takes to get things accomplished. I wasn’t sure that I would enjoy being on the council, but I have actually enjoyed it very much.”
David Bierbaum and his wife of nearly 12 years, Holly, have resided in Dalhart for most of their lives. David is a 1987 graduate of Dalhart High School and Holly graduated in 1992. Their 5-year-old daughter, Hannah, is their only child.
For years Holly was a stay-at-home mom for Hannah. When Hannah entered pre-K at Dalhart Elementary School, Holly went to work for Bragg and Davison Accounting in Dalhart. David has worked for West Texas Gas for a year and a half. West Texas Gas bought out David’s prior employer, North Texas Gas, where he had worked for 15 years.
David’s love for children has benefited Dalhart residents for nearly 15 years. He has been the president of Dalhart Youth Basketball for the past four years. He’s been involved with DYB for 15 years as a coach. He commented, “I have always enjoyed coaching kids. It’s a passion of mine.” Holly spoke of David’s love for children by stating, “One thing that is really special about David is how much time he gives to children. He’s been coaching youth basketball and baseball for many years, and that just makes him special, and it is something that is special for our town.”
David moved to Dalhart with his parents from Lincoln, Nebraska in 1980.
Commenting on his tenure with the council, he noted, “It is all interesting to me and I’m learning a lot. I wasn’t involved before, and it has been a worthwhile experience. I would like to stay on the council for the years ahead.” Holly stated, “When he was asked to sit on the council he said ‘yes’ because that’s just the kind of person he is. And it is important to him.”
One of David’s qualities that Holly believes is essential to the city council is his youth. She stated, “He brings a young man’s perspective to the council. He’s at a different stage in his life than most of the other council members, and that is important because it does bring a different perspective. He’s a young man with a young child.”
Both David’s and Holly’s families live in Dalhart. Mr. David Bierbaum works for A & I Parts, and Mrs. Pat Bierbaum works at the nursing home. Holly’s mother, Mrs. Martha Stuell is retired. Her father has passed away.