Former manager of the city of Hampton NH, James Barrington, recalled
HAMPTON – Many in town were saddened recently to learn of the death of former town manager James Barrington, who died on September 24th in Canyon, Texas at the age of 68.
“He was a real win for the City of Hampton,” said Skip Sullivan. “I enjoyed both of my roles with him, worked for him when I was chief fire officer, and with him as selectman. He was a gentleman and achieved a lot. “
Barrington was Hampton city manager from 1996 to 2006 when he retired from the civil service to return to his beloved Texas, where he grew up. At his farewell party, he told guests that leaving Hampton was “bittersweet”.
“We look forward to a new life with great anticipation and to return to our roots,” said Barrington in 2006. “But we also look sad and fearful to leave behind some of the people who were so important to us.”
Karen Anderson was Barrington’s executive assistant for many of his years in town. Barrington would end up being her mentor, she said, the person who urged her to apply for and get the position as City Administrator in Greenland.
“He was the one who encouraged me to broaden and broaden my role,” said Anderson. “He was a great mentor. He said I had more skills than being someone’s assistant. When I got the job in Greenland, he said he was sad to see me go, but he was very happy for me. “
Barrington grew up in Linden, Texas and graduated from East Texas State University with a bachelor’s degree in political science and history. This was followed by a master’s degree in public administration, which led him to a career in local government. He was a city manager in Iowa Park, Texas, then Neptune Beach, Florida before moving to Hampton with his family.
After retiring from public service in 2006, the Barringtons settled in Canyon, where he pursued his love of photography.
“He was a wonderful photographer,” said Anderson. “He started working for the newspaper and taking photos for sporting events. I wasn’t surprised when he became the editor of the paper. He was a very elegant writer. “
Barrington was editor-in-chief of The Canyon News from 2009 to 2015. Barrington was an elder in his church, the University Church of Christ in Canyon, from 2015 to 2021.
Those who worked with Barrington at Hampton believe he had a real knack for working with others and getting things done.
Rusty Bridle was a firefighter in Hampton at the time Barrington was serving as town manager. He felt the man as “a true gentleman of the south”. Bridle said Barrington always acted “doing what was best for the city of Hampton”. And he did so after coming to Hampton during a tumultuous change in position.
“He did a great job,” said Bridle. “Even if he disagreed with you, he could disagree without being uncomfortable.”
Ginny Bridle Russell was an election woman during Barrington’s tenure at City Hall. When he arrived, she said, he found five very different people serving on the board.
“We had a very heterogeneous board of directors at the time,” she says. “But he welded us together and we achieved many things. Mr. Barrington was fair, honest, and a pleasure to work with. He also put the city’s employees first. He was a good city administrator. And his wife and daughters were nice people. His death is a sad loss. ”
According to his obituary, although he enjoyed taking photos, writing, and spending time in nature, Barrington spent time with his family, especially with his grandchildren.
Barrington leaves behind his 48-year-old wife, Darlene (Panter); his daughters Karlee Wells and husband Keith from Kennebunk, Maine, and Cari Thompson and husband Rob from Canyon, Texas; six grandchildren and brother Ron Barrington and wife Pat from Cleveland, Texas.