To make him and his staff more accessible for area voters, U.S. Rep. John Barrow announced Friday the opening of a new office in downtown Statesboro.
Barrow, who represents Georgia’s 12th congressional district, met with constituents to discuss current issues and announce the new office during an open house at the location within Statesboro City Hall.
The new workplace is located on the first floor of City Hall — 50 East Main Street — just inside the building’s front doors.
“We are (opening this new location) to be closer to the folks that we represent,” Barrow said. “We have tried several different times over the years that I have been representing Bulloch County to arrange for a space in this area. The city has now found a space for us and it’s an offer we can’t pass up.”
Statesboro City Council passed a motion earlier this year to make available the office for any local legislators, or their staffs, free of charge upon request. Barrow is the first elected official to make use of the facility.
“Mr. Barrow is our congressman and we had the facilities here that were available for use,” said Statesboro Mayor Joe Brannen. “Providing this office provides a place where people can find the congressman easily, and we are glad to do it.”
Barrow’s staff will now become a permanent fixture at City Hall, operating out of the office every Monday and Tuesday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and the first and third Wednesday of each month, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Matthew Kleinsorge, a Constituent Services Representative for the Barrow-camp, will hold the office.
“Whether people are having issues with a federal agency, social security, Internal Revenue Servise, or anything else, they can visit the office and we’ll try to smooth things over and find out what is causing the problem,” Kleinsorge said.
The office will allow for appointments if requested, but operate mostly on an open-door policy, he said.
“We like to have a regular schedule of places where people can come and know that my staff will be there to meet them, whether they have an appointment or not,” Barrow said. “Our staff is very good, very dedicated and care a lot about their work. I feel like I have one of the best constituent service staffs of any congressman in Georgia.”
Utilization of the office space will begin immediately, according to staff.
People can reach the office through phone by calling (912) 489-4494.
Jeff Harrison may be reached at (912) 489-9454.