A lifelong resident of Spanish Fork, Dale R. Barney believes residents should be involved in their local government.
So if he wins the mayoral race in November, he expects to hear from residents before major decisions are made, Barney said recently."The most important thing is to get residents involved in all aspects of growth," he said. He likes to work by committee because "we have a wealth of people who have a lot of experience and we need to hear from them."
Barney has been hearing from local residents most of his life. He graduated from Spanish Fork High School in 1948 and immediately went to work in construction, driving heavy equipment. Two years later he entered the National Guard and switched from building roads and bridges to building bunkers in North Korea. He was with the Guard's 145th Field Artillery from Spanish Fork when it served in the Korean War. The troops were assigned to the X (10th) Corp Artillery in the Eighth Army. Driving a D-4 Caterpillar, Barney was awarded a Bronze Star for service beyond the call of duty. "It took a lot of extra time and there weren't many who knew how to run a Cat," he said.
Rotated out in 1952, Barney returned to Spanish Fork and construction. He served in the Jaycees, which no longer exists here, and is a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars where he served as commander twice for two-year terms.
In 1969 he founded Barney Inc., a general engineering contracting business. His new company built Payson's pressure irrigation system, installed heavy pipeline for the Strawberry Water Users and constructed numerous roads and bridges around Utah County. With a partner he built an apartment complex in Spanish Fork.
Barney also donated equipment and work for the city. "We furnished equipment to work on the (city) park on Main Street and dug the basement for the senior center. We put up lights and a freestanding clock on Main Street between 100 North and Center Street on the east side," he said.
Barney retired from that business in 1992 but not from helping people. "I'm a people-oriented person," he said. "If somebody needs some help I've been able to help out because I've received a lot of help."
Barney served in the bishopric and then bishop of the Leland LDS Ward. He later served in the presidency of the Spanish Fork LDS West Stake. Then he and his wife, Ila, served an 18-month mission to Great Britain for the church in 1992.
On the committee for the Veterans Memorial Park at the city cemetery, Barney's voluntarism has helped get the structure built. Black granite will go on next and individual statues representing each branch of the service will be set in place soon, he said.
"It's taken a lot of donations to do this. It has united the people to get something like this done," he said.
He and his wife have six children. Four still live in Spanish Fork, one lives in Salem and one is in American Fork. They have 22 grandchildren.