By ROBERT PIERCE
• Leader & Times
Many across the community feel they are not being adequately represented by Liberal’s City Commissioners. Marlena Nobles, a candidate in the upcoming city commission race, shares these concerns, and she, along with others, would like to see that changed.
Nobles believes a different type of atmosphere needs to exist in Liberal, and to do that, she feels the city’s government should use local solutions for both business owners and citizens. That is why, she said, there needs to be a voice for the people and businesses of Seward County, and commissioners need to listen to what people want and be responsive to the community’s needs.
“I really believe that there’s a lot of areas where Liberal could approve tax relief and for citizens concerns,” Nobles said. “A lot of the people have expressed concerns to me about different issues.”
On the campaign trail, Nobles said she hears local residents saying there currently is not anyone listening to their concerns and taking feedback and solutions from them.
“Our current political climate is such that I believe it’s become unresponsive to the average small business owner and the average citizen in this town,” she said.
Nobles added likewise, property owners in Liberal need tax relief.
“They really do, and they need a government that will listen to them and what they want,” she said. “They’re not getting what they want.”
Nobles also said local business needs to be better promoted.
“I think the town could do a lot more to help the business community and to grow the business community,” she said. “I believe that there is a need in this town to help small business people and to help them grow their businesses and to bring in new businesses and to bring in small to medium size businesses too.”
Nobles feels the city needs to concentrate not on landing a big business, but rather bringing back a small town business charm Liberal has had in the past.
“I believe that the city could do a lot more to attract and maintain the local business climate,” she said. “I really strongly feel that Main Street out here and the downtown district is not being adequately promoted as it is in other towns.”
Nobles said a better business climate could help the city attract better businesses.
“The people, the residents in this town, they’re crying out for someone to represent them,” she said. “They’re asking for someone to listen to them. I believe that I have some viable ideas for representing the average property owner in this town. I see a lot of areas where we can streamline and make more efficient city government.”
Nobles, one of eight candidates in the race, said she wants to be a voice for both the businesses and the people of the community.
“I don’t believe the people have an adequate voice here in Liberal,” she said.
In the next 10 years, Nobles sees Liberal growing economically, getting its tax base back, as well as small businesses, and getting the town back to the charm of a small community, and this, she said, needs to be provided through local solutions.
“Not seeking a handout every time we turn around and not seeking a bigger government but a more efficient government, a more responsive government for the people, by the people,” she said. “I see Liberal growing, and I see the small town charm coming back to where it used to be 10, 15, 20 years ago.”