By EARL WATT
• Leader & Times
Ask Bob Carlile if Liberal is headed in the right direction, and he will answer with a resounding, “Yes.”
As a city commissioner, Carlile has been able to be a part of a number of initiatives over the past two years, and he is seeking re-election to continue the momentum.
“My main priority is to maintain the programs of the city at the lowest possible cost to the taxpayer,” he said.
Carlile pointed to the renovation project at Light Park and the new Liberal Pride City-Wide program as ongoing efforts to enhance the community.
“We want to continue our clean-up efforts and expand it by getting more people involved,” he said.
There has been an era of cooperation between the community, the city staff and commissioners during the past two years, and Carlile said that the relationship-building needs to continue.
“We work well together,” Carlile said. “In the past, every election we had two or three new commissioners and there was no continuity. We need to keep this going and building relationships needs to continue.”
Carlile believed that Liberal will continue down a path of steady growth over the next 10 years with enhancements in the business community as well as an enhanced quality of life.
“You look at the programs our city offers like the Recreation Department and the Air Museum to other city organizations like Baker Arts, Coronado Museum, the Bee Jays, Pancake Day, they are all a plus for Liberal,” Carlile aid. “We have things no other town in the State of Kansas our size has. Those organizations are run by volunteers. The people we have who volunteer to make Liberal a better place, it’s a fantastic situation.”
Carlile’s parents were married in Liberal in 1919, and Carlile, the youngest of the family, was born 18 years later.
His sand and asphalt companies that build roads across the region could have been placed anywhere, but for Carlile, keeping the base of operations in Liberal was a simple choice.
“No way would I ever leave Liberal,” he said. “I’ve never lived anywhere but here. You go somewhere for three or four days, and you are so glad to be back home. We are comfortable with the people and the area.”
As an elected official, Carlile has been able to serve his community.
“It’s a privilege to be elected by your peers to represent them,” he said. “The city has a lot going for it. I want to keep working on the programs we have and do what I can to make Liberal the city of choice. You couldn’t ask for a better place to live. This is home.”