City commissioners Bob Carlile, left, Larry Koochel and Dave Harrison, along with Vice Mayor Joe Denoyer and Mayor Tim Long, raise their hands in a unanimous vote Tuesday evening to make the Leader & Times the official newspaper of the City of Liberal. L& T photo/Robert Pierce.
By ROBERT PIERCE
• Leader & Times
The City of Liberal has a new official newspaper.
For the third time in three years, the designation switched hands – this time unanimously.
In 2008, the commission voted 3-2, with then-Mayor Joe Denoyer and commissioner Dave Harrison voting against, to make the High Plains Daily Leader the official paper. In 2009, Denoyer and Harrison again voted against the Leader, joined by the current mayor, Tim Long, giving the then-Southwest Times the designation.
On Dec. 9, the Daily Leader purchased the Times, which brought the matter back to the city commission, and Tuesday, with commissioner Larry Koochel making the motion and commissioner Bob Carlile seconding the motion, the board voted unanimously to make the Leader & Times the official newspaper of the City of Liberal.
City Manager Mark Hall said his staff is appreciative of the work of the Leader & Times.
“We thank you and enjoy your service, and you’re the official city newspaper,” he said to Leader & Times Publisher Earl Watt.
Watt thanked the commission for the vote in favor of making the Leader & Times the official paper.
“We appreciate it, and we’ll do our best to carry out the responsibility we have for you,” he said.
Watt said newspaper staff will work closely with city staff to promote Liberal.
“(Classified manager) Betty (DuBois) will work with (city clerk) Debbie (Giskie) very closely to make sure everything is accurate and legal and give you the option of every day,” he said. “We appreciate the support of the commission tonight.”