City and county mayor associations appoint government representative to Blue Oval City project


JACKSON, Tenn. (WNBJ) - The West Tennessee City and County Mayor Associations announced Joe W. Barker as their appointee to serve as a local government representative to help prepare the surrounding areas for the development and arrival of the Blue Oval City.


“This is a regional project, not just simply a Haywood County project. We all need as much communication as we possibly can. Joe Barker is uniquely qualified to serve in this position,” said Mayor David Livingston, in Haywood County


David Livingston, the mayor of Haywood County explains why the mayors' associations chose Barker to represent them.


“He’s served as the mayor of Savannah and also the mayor of Hardin County. He knows the interworking of both situations because both county and city governments work differently,” said Livingston.


Joe Barker says his first order of business is to develop the line of communication between the mayors and Ford.


“I think mainly what the mayors are looking for is someone that can provide information to them. Rural mayors don’t have large staffs and sometimes can’t go to every meeting. So, I believe they just wanted somebody with a background in local government that would be able to get the information, give it to them, and then they can send that information out,” said Joe W. Barker, the West Tennessee Mayor Associations Local Government Representative with the Blue Oval City.


The mayor of Henderson brings up other issues that the associations will need to address.


“Housing is a huge issue right now and now we are about to put a lot of people here in west Tennessee so housing is a big issue, which will, in turn, make zoning a big issue. We need that information like I said Joe will get a lot of that information from the state, disseminate it to us, and help us make decisions we need to make,” said Mayor Bobby King, city of Henderson.


The Ford Motor Company sent a statement on the announced made in Jackson today.


“Ford is looking forward to working with Executive Director Joe Barker in his new role as the West Tennessee Mayors’ Local Government Representative to BlueOval City. The coordinating responsibilities Joe has agreed to take on will ensure that the rural communities of West Tennessee have an important voice in this historic project, and share in the benefits it will bring to the entire region. BlueOval City will usher in a new era for American manufacturing, and the communities of West Tennessee are critical to making it happen." - Ford Motor Company.


Ford says the Blue Oval City will be a $5.6 billion mega campus in Stanton, Tennessee, and expand the lineup of electric F-series vehicles.


The Blue Oval City is expected to be completed in 2025 and will create approximately 6,000 jobs.


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