Elizabeth Cooley plans to be voice of the people in Chelsea

Published 4:32 pm Friday, August 19, 2016

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Staff Writer

CHELSEA – The race for Place 5 on Chelsea’s City Council is the most contested seat with three candidates in the running.

Elizabeth Cooley, who is currently a school bus driver in Chelsea and a retired teacher, is one of the three vying for that coveted position.

Cooley had a tough time deciding what the top aspect of her campaign was, but for what she said was good reason.

“I think everything is important and deserves our time, but safety and traffic issues are probably the most important because they can be managed a little easier,” Cooley said. “We just need to pound on the doors of ALDOT and get things done. The only reason I put that first is because it can get done first.”

One thing she said she wanted done on the safety front was to have experts come out and look at all of the railroads and see what needs to be done to get some crossing guards.

She also said experts should come and look at all intersections to see how those can be fixed as well.

“I have people passing me on double lined roads and flying by me over the speed limit every day that I’m driving the school bus,” Cooley said.

Continuing down the safety path, Cooley also stood up for her belief in a municipal court.

“A municipal court is a must; a code enforcer won’t help, somebody will just throw those citations in the trash,” she said. “The sheriff’s office can’t handle the ordinances, and I believe the money we spend would be well spent on the safety of our community.”

Cooley said she wasn’t as firm on a police department at this time, but said it would be up to the residents.

“Whether we keep our contract with the sheriff’s office or create our own police department that will all be up to the people,” she said. “If the contract is kept in place, we definitely need to customize it and expand it to meet our needs.”

She also said it is important for the city to focus on lowering the sewer cost for businesses because bringing in new business is a must if Chelsea wants to continue to succeed.

“Fixing the sewer problem will help to get more businesses to Chelsea,” Cooley said. “I am totally against paying businesses to come or paying for their sewer costs because we simply need to get it lowered.”

As a former educator, Cooley said that education is extremely important and focusing on schools is a top priority.

“We have to realize that Chelsea schools are part of the Shelby County School System,” she said. “It might mean that we need to look into creating our own school system at some point because we will have more freedom. Right now the school board decides who needs the most help, and Chelsea isn’t at the top of that list even though our schools are bursting through the seams.”

Cooley said that leads back to bringing more business to the city so they can create more sales tax revenue to afford something of that caliber.

“I’m running because I love Chelsea and want to be the voice of the residents,” she said. “I feel like there needs to be more communication with them and I want to be that voice. People will know what is going on in the city because I will inform them.”