Craig ready for second shot on city commission
Sunday, 11 January 2009 00:00
By EARL WATT
• Daily Leader
Charles Craig is blunt about the way his first stint as a Liberal
City Commissioner came to an end.
“I was fired,” he said with a smile, referring to the vote that did
not result in his re-election two years ago.
At that time, the key issues facing the commission were the purchase
of the First National Bank and the sale of the former fire department
to Walgreens and the construction of a new fire department.
Those projects may be viewed differently today.
“I am very proud of what we accomplished,” Craig said of his four
years on the commission from 2003 to 2007.
“The new fire station did not cost the taxpayers one red cent. We got
enough money from Walgreens that we didn’t have to pay anything for
it. My problem is the location. We moved it east. We had been
approached by some that we could have sold that property for
$500,000. It is a prime piece of real estate for business. But as far
as the fire station, it was a good move. We have a big new business
on the corner paying taxes, and that brings a substantial amount of
money we would not have otherwise.
The relocation of CIty Hall to the former First National Bank
location was also a good decision according to Craig.
“There was talk about a new City Hall for 15 years,” Craig said. “We
were able to buy that for $45 a square foot. Expanding the existing
City Hall would have cost $200 per square foot. The police department
was bursting at the seams. This solved the problems for both City
Hall and the police department, and we have something that will last
50 years. Look at what that is going to save the taxpayers.”
Craig said he would like to see a new approach to economic
development. But he said that there’s more to improving the community
than simply criticizing the status quo.
“There are some that complain all the time, but they don’t offer any
solutions,” he said. “There are some changes that need to be made,
and I think I can bring some ideas that may help.”
Craig owned Liberal Harley Davidson for a number of years before
selling his business and retiring.
Craig believed there was room for the city and county to work more
closely together that could result in significant tax savings to the
Craig joined Joe Denoyer, Don Rash and Bob Carlile as candidates for
three open seats.