Commissioner Barnhardt's Biography


Biography: Kevin S. Barnhardt

Commissioner Kevin S. BarnhardtKevin Barnhardt is a lifelong Berks County resident. Along with his wife of 31 years, Pamela, their family includes son Christopher, and two grandsons.

Kevin has 30 years of private industry management experience in Sales, Marketing and Merchandising, as a Purchasing Supervisor and Manager, in Retail Management, as a V.P. of Business Development, in Distribution Center Management, and Inventory Control and Systems Management.

His 30 years of government experience includes West Reading Borough Council from 1982-97, where he sat on the zoning, environmental, recreation, public safety, and recycling boards. He was also part of the Main Street Authority Finance Committee and the Main Street Foundation Finance Committee. In 1998, Kevin was elected Mayor of West Reading, where he served with distinction until 2007. He was the civilian head of the 13 member West Reading Police Department.

Kevin is also a life member of the West Reading Fire Company #1, and was a volunteer fireman with Keystone Fire Company #1 in Reading.

As Mayor, Kevin formed the West Reading Elm Street Program, and was a large part of the West Reading Main Street Foundation and West Reading Main Street Authority.

Kevin has a strong community service ethic, having served as chairman of both the West Reading Garden Club and the West Reading Centennial Committee. He is a Past Master of Saint John’s Lodge No. 435 F&AM, achieved Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite Mason’s 33rd Degree, and is a Past Master of Reading Lodge of Perfection.

County Finances

"At every level of government there are opportunities to freeze or cut spending. I plan to vigorously pursue those opportunities. There are opportunities to maximize and redirect funding streams for Berks County to reduce the burden on our county tax payers and wage earners. I will work to eliminate state and federally initiated unfunded mandates which increase the size of the government bureaucracy and greatly expand the cost of services countywide.

I realize that the public consists of many different constituencies and that a primary responsibility of good government is to efficiently but compassionately balance the wants of a few with the needs of the many."

Farmland Preservation

"We need to strike a balance between the need for development and the need to preserve farmland. I support farmland preservation using state and county monies. Agriculture is our number one industry and cost less than twenty percent of actual taxes paid per acre in services vs. over 100% for residential development.

We need to concentrate our development in areas with infrastructure available such as: roads, water, sewer, electric and gas services. We should also focus development efforts towards building our economy through commercial enterprises that retain and attract employers to Berks County. The objective is to re-develop existing structures to make them useful to the community, while strategically and responsibly review new opportunities that do not impact our farmlands, school systems and taxpayers."

Public Safety

"Encourage additional mergers, cooperative agreements and increased interaction with our city and county police units. Crime is the number one issue we face and the number one deterrent to creation of jobs and a more vibrant economy."