By HANNAH JOHNSON
Stillwater City Councilwoman Micky Cook will not seek re-election in Ward 2, she announced last week.
Cook spent the last four years on the city council. She cites personal reasons for her decision to leave the council when her term is up.
"I don’t want to feel guilty for going to Florida for a couple of months," Cook said. "I’ve said no to things that I want to say yes to now."
It’s time to give someone else an opportunity to serve the city, Cook said, adding that it’s a "huge learning experience."
"Plus, I feel like I did the things I wanted to do," Cook said. "I got back to what I pushed for in my original campaign."
Cook her focus has always been to push for an open and fair process and being fiscally responsible. She is proud of her involvement with the Heritage Preservation Commission, and especially the city’s new community garden on the North Hill.
While not running for re-election, Cook has six months left on her term before she leaves the council. She plans to keep busy until then.
"I want to take over the problem properties issue," Cook said. "I want to make sure the historic houses are protected."
Six months will go by fast as Cook works with the council regarding problem properties in the city, an issue that has been discussed during city council meetings in the last few weeks.
Other prominent issues Cook wants to address are changing the Lift Bridge schedule to accommodate traffic congestion downtown as well as working with the council to create a "vision for special events," a major city issue since Lumberjack Days was cancelled due to an investigation into bad checks issued by the organization.
Though she won’t be on the council, Cook won’t be afraid to stand up to the podium to speak on issues, she said.
"I’ll still have the opportunity to voice my opinions," Cook said. "Sometimes you’re heard better when you’re down here than up there."
Four people are vying for Cook’s council seat: Tom Corbett, Adam Frederick, Ted Kozlowski and Cassie McLemore.
Cook has some simple advice for her replacement:
"Continue to ask questions. Sometimes I think I know the answer but I want the public to hear the answer or I’ll want it on public record," Cook said. "Break it down and have debate. That’s what encompasses good government."