Register staff report
After spending the previous year as chief deputy in the Madison County Clerk’s office, Colleen Chaney of Richmond went to work in January as district office director for newly elected U.S. Rep. Andy Barr, R-Sixth District.
Chaney began work in early January, heading Barr’s office in the Hamburg area of Lexington. However, the congressman’s office didn’t formally announce the appointment until Friday, the same day he came to Madison County to address a Richmond Chamber of Commerce luncheon.
Barr said Chaney had been applying the same skills she had used to streamline the operations of several divisions in the clerk’s office in setting up his constituent service program for the district.
“I’ve been impressed with Colleen’s initiative, vision, diligence and determination,” Barr said of her work. “She will help me provide the high quality service the people of this district both need and deserve.”
To make constituent services more convenient to residents of his district, Barr said he will have representatives keep regularly scheduled office hours in each county. Tyler White of the congressman’s staff will be at the Madison County Courthouse in Richmond from 1 to 3 p.m. on the third Monday of each month, he said.
Madison County Clerk Kenny Barger said Chaney had been of invaluable service to him when he took office as a newly elected clerk in January 2012.
“I certainly hated to lose Colleen,” Barger said of Chaney’s departure, “but you know you have good employees when others want to hire them.”
In the clerk’s office, Chaney used the knowledge she acquired while serving as director of Corporations and Legislative Programs for former Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson, Barger said. Prior to working for Grayson, she had served in a variety of capacities in the administration of former governor Ernie Fletcher and with the Kentucky League of Cities.
“Congressman Barr has emphasized that accessibility is the key component in successfully representing the people of the sixth district,” Chaney said. “This commitment can be seen in his eagerness to visit with constituents as often as possible. In addition, it also is the foundation for our district office accessibility initiative that includes monthly office hours, coalition meetings, field visits and case management.
“Properly serving the people of the Sixth District’s nineteen counties means providing responsive, compassionate, and effective constituent services,” she said.
Chaney offered one example of a Madison Countian who recently called Barr’s office with an Internal Revenue Service issue that could have created a serious problem for his business.
“Our staff was able to identify the problem, make the necessary phone calls, and resolve the matter within one business day,” she said.
“I am honored and proud to have Colleen’s unique brand of leadership in charge of our district office,” Barr said. “Her wealth of experience at the state and local level and her love for Kentuckians shows in every aspect of her work.”