By LARRY PHILLIPS • Daily Leader
A sixth candidate has thrown his hat in the ring to run for a seat on the city commission. Jack H. Cooley filed Tuesday and wants to return to the board to serve the people of Liberal after being off the commission for nearly four years. Cooley had served on the city commission for six years, serving as mayor one year and vice mayor two years. And he wants to return.
“The reason I chose to serve this time is to give the people a choice,” Cooley said. “I believe in serving all citizens – and the four years I’ve been out – I’ve worked on many committees and been involved in the city – and I’ve learned a lot.”
Not running for another term four years ago was a good decision, according to Cooley. It gave him time to reevaluate his priorities.
“I felt my attitude was going bad,” he explained. “Toward the end, I do feel I was not running for everybody like I should have been. I needed to get away and step back and look at it and rededicate myself to what it’s all about. It’s not about me – it’s about others.
“It’s not whether you win this decision or lose that decision, it’s all the decisions that are made,” Cooley continued. “I just felt I wasn’t doing the public that good of service at the time.
“It was good to take a breather and look at it. So now, I feel that I can look at it the way it’s supposed to be looked at – a whole new perspective.”
Cooley has kept busy though; presently serving as chairman of the Diversity Council, chairman of Community Response Committee, chairman of Tri-Agency, board member of United Mexican American Ministries, member of Cinco de Mayo Committee, member of Northeast Liberal Committee, treasurer of Work Investing Board and treasurer of First Christian Church. Working with these committees for nearly four years or longer has helped Cooley see things in a different light.
“I’m more mature now, and I think I can do the people a good job. And I want to serve them in the tough times coming down the road,” Cooley said. “I believe in the system, and we still have so much potential and so much going for us out here.
“There’s so many talented people in this city – whether it’s staff or people that work on the committees – we can go anywhere we want,” he continued. “It really is a nice little town, and I feel sometimes we lose that perspective that it is a nice little town. Our greatest asset is us – the people, and it’s the (commission) job to govern to provide the tools for the city – as a whole – to function and progress, and that’s what commissioners are supposed to do.
“It’s a challenge I really want to attack,” he added.
Those who have filed to date besides Cooley include incumbents Don Rash and Joe Denoyer, Bob Carlile, Charles Craig and Tim Long.
Those wishing to file must complete a candidate’s declaration of intention form and pay a $45 filing fee with the city clerk’s office before the noon deadline Tuesday.