Marty Gordon
Contributing writer

D. Michael Barber

Christiansburg Mayor Michael Barber has announced plans to seek a second term in the office.

Barber told the News Messenger on Wednesdays that serving the town’s residents is a passion of his that remains strong.

“I hope most everyone will feel I have fulfilled the job as mayor to the best of my abilities. I have enjoyed my terms on council and as the mayor for the last three years. It is next to impossible to please everyone, but we as a council take every decision seriously,” he said.

Barber took office in 2014 after serving on town council for 13 previous years. He said that he often gets praise for things going on, but, it’s truly the council that makes things happen.

“I have long lived by the saying ‘there is no I in team,” and that’s what we are. There are a few things we have done during my term that come to mind. The hiring of Steve Biggs to manage the town being one. He replaced Barry Helms who retired in June after a long and very successful tenure of service. Steve brings a fresh look and ideas for the town and our citizens and employees.”

The current mayor also points to the expansion of the Huckleberry Trail and the completion of the Renva W. Knowles Memorial Bridge that spans Peppers Ferry Road as another accomplishment.  He praised continued growth in programs offered by the Parks and Recreation Department and the aquatic center, that not only serve its citizens, but brings thousands of people to town each year to participate in tournaments and swim meets.

“These are events that add millions of dollars to our local economy each year. I am excited on our plans for downtown Christiansburg and the changes that are happening. I have enjoyed my time working with all the departments and getting to know many of our employees and would like to continue this in the future. I also think we have made great strides in keeping the citizens informed and connected with town government,” Barber said.

He believes the current council works well together in getting things done for the town and its residents.

“My goal, should I be re-elected, is to continue to enjoy the close workings of council and staff.  There are things we are developing and working on that will take two to four years to complete, much of which will change the face of Christiansburg. We look forward retail expansion, especially downtown, that will bring more people to work, live and play. We as a council have many ideas, and by working together, we can make a positive impact on our town and citizens,” he said.

Barber is a graduate of Christiansburg High School, National Business College, VA-MD School of Bank Management at the University of Virginia and the School of Banking of the South at Louisiana State University. He retired after 43 years in the banking industry, most recently with First Bank of Virginia, and is also a member of the Christiansburg Kiwanis Club and serves as President of the New River Valley Development Corporation. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the New River Valley Health Foundation, Rosa Peters Park, Bud Foster’s LPD Foundation and the Alliance for Better Childcare Solutions (ABCs).

The mayor’s post in Christiansburg serves a four-year term.

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