The man who would be mayor

Robert Blackford/Editor
Jack Doherty was the Democratic Caucus choice for Aledo Mayor in January.

Anyone following politics in Aledo knows Jack Doherty. Doherty served as an alderman in the city for 12 years and is a long-time resident of Aledo. Doherty won the Democratic Party’s nomination for mayor at the recent caucus.

“A lot of people came to me and asked me to run,” said Doherty. “I served 12 years as alderman and left two years ago. This is my first time running for mayor.”

Doherty said “Most people don’t want the mayor to run the city they want the city council to run the city."

As Doherty sees it the mayor has four duties. 1 - run the meetings; 2 - make appointments; 3 - vote in case of a tie and 4 - He should be the city’s biggest cheerleader. He should promote the city every minute.

As an alderman Doherty was a member of the TIF, water and personnel committees.

Doherty recalls the work that went into replacing the city’s water mains spending $300,000 a year for three years plus adding a new water source.

Doherty said he was chair of the TIF committee for eight years. He was there when they started the awning program. “The volunteers were fantastic that we had with that.”

Doherty said he disagrees with some of the things that have happened with TIF. “They don’t follow the rules anymore. They went to more grants and less loans. It used to be the other way around. I thought of it as a revolving loan fund where they paid the money back and we moved on to help the next one.”

Doherty added, “We have to use it out east as well as downtown. Some people think we use too much downtown.”

Doherty said he would like to see the east end of town developed more than it has in the past few years.

Doherty thinks adding the water tower was a good step forward. “Who knows, Wal-Mart might come back some day.”

Doherty enjoys living in Aledo. “I raised five kids and we didn’t have to lock our doors. It’s a great place to live and we want to keep it that way. We are the best kept secret in the area.”

Doherty pointed to the success of the Aledo Main Street program noting, “They have the greatest volunteers. The overall enthusiasm there means a lot.”

About the Aledo Junior High building Doherty said, “I think we should give it back to Dick (Maynard). I was the only vote against taking it from the school board,” said Doherty.

The school district gave the city the old Northside Junior High School building which the city then entered into a contract with local businessman Dick Maynard. The city and Maynard are now involved in a lawsuit over who owns the building.

Doherty believes the city needs an administrator other than a clerk. “He should be answerable to the council. Right now he is answerable to the mayor,” said Doherty. “I would like it to be a local person.”

About the new zoning laws that have went into effect in the past few years Doherty said, “It had to be done but we should have taken our time with it. We created the wrong atmosphere.”

Doherty is retired now and willing to put a lot of time at city hall and be available to people who want to talk to him. He plans on being in the office three or four hours a day for 15-20 hours a week.

“I want people to feel like they can come in here and visit. Right now they don’t feel that way.”

Doherty was a parts manager for a Lincoln Mercury dealership for 40 years. He retired in 2004. He came to Aledo 40 years ago from Donellson, Iowa.