Her job as keeper of the city records makes City Clerk Kim Barfield the heart and backbone of the city, and she’s steady as a rock, according to Pacific aldermen.
Her easygoing personality amid occasional turmoil has earned her high marks from elected officials who rely on her for basic information.
“The city clerk provides support to the mayor and board of aldermen, and maintains all city records, but Kim (Barfield) goes far beyond that,” said Alderman Carol Johnson, acting president of the board of aldermen.
“No matter what you ask her, she is so calm as she explains it,” Johnson said. “She never loses her cool. She is the backbone of the city.”
Alderman Mike Pigg, who served as acting board president for five years, said Barfield is the heart of the city.
“There are other officials with important jobs and titles, but Kim is the person who has her finger on everything,” he said.
Pigg said Barfield has always been an outstanding city clerk, but in recent years when the city staff was reduced she emerged as a true leader, crafting city budgets and providing research for aldermen.
“When I needed to frame an issue so that other aldermen would get it, Kim was always willing to talk it through with me,” he said. “She was never too busy and never wrong.”
Pacific officials and The Missourian recently were notified that Barfield had earned the distinction of Missouri City Clerk and Finance Officers Association (MoCCFOA) — Sustaining Status.
It is nice to hear, but does not truly define the role that Barfield plays, especially in the recent years of fewer city employees, according to Alderman Steve Myers.
“Kim Barfield is about as essential to the city of Pacific as an employee could ever get,” Myers said. “She is a consummate professional that carries out her day-to-day tasks in the midst of a steady stream of interruptions, and she seems to always do so with a pleasant attitude and a willingness to help in any way possible.
“I can’t recall ever asking Kim a question and being denied her assistance,” he said. “She has been a steady rock when her work environment and life has, at times, been extremely turbulent.”
Myers said the greatest testament to how valuable Barfield is, and how respected she is among her peers, came when she was involved in a traffic accident.
“I received many calls from clerks from other cities offering to help take her place while she healed. Folks who know her and work with her love her and we, as a city, should count ourselves fortunate to have her on our team,” Myers said.
Ruth Baker, Missouri City Clerk and Finance Officers Association (MoCCFOA) certification committee chair, notified Barfield of the distinction Oct. 25, telling her that she will be presented with a certificate during the 2018 spring institute banquet in Columbia.
Barfield has been a city employee since August 2000 when she took a full-time position in the collector’s office. She was later named public works secretary and utility billing clerk. In July 2007, she was appointed assistant city clerk training under Jo Ann Hoehne, who had announced her intended retirement. In 2008, she was named city clerk.
Barfield is one of 516 members of the MoCCFOA. She presently serves as president of the MoCCFOA East Central Division, which represents 49 members from 22 local municipalities in Crawford, Franklin, Gasconade, Maries, Montgomery, Phelps, Saint Francois and Washington counties.
She also serves on the MoCCFOA nominating committee, which solicits candidates and nominates individuals to fill the positions as officers.
The Sustaining Status designation is earned through a combination of education and experience, which includes attending classes, workshops and other programs.
“I think Kim could be teaching these classes,” Pigg said. “She does everything.”
Barfield and her husband have two adult children and two grandchildren.