Bonifay Fire Chief Larry Cook is running for Bonifay City Council Seat 1, opposed to candidate Jason Powell. Cook is pictured with his wife, Celena Cook. [CONTRIBUTED]

I am Larry Cook, and I would appreciate your vote for Bonifay City Council Seat 1 on March 28.

I moved to the Bonifay area as a child and have lived in the city proper since 1995. I have owned and operated Son’s Tire Inc. for 21 years. I also have worked in the Holmes County School Board Transportation Department. I served on the West Florida Electric Cooperative Board of Trustees from 1991 to 1995 and was president in 1995. 

In recent years I also served on the Doctors Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees. During my tenures on these boards we expanded our services and found innovative ways to serve our community better. I was a member of the original Downtown Bonifay Development Group, which now is under the umbrella of Waukesha Way. We initiated the long process to create what we enjoy as Eureka Square today.

I have a heart for our community and am a committed public servant. I became a volunteer firefighter here in 1988, being recognized as Firefighter of the Year three times. When the fire department was reorganized under Fire Chief Shay McCormick, I was appointed to serve as first assistant chief in 2004. Under Chief McCormick’s leadership, we recruited and trained firefighters, bringing much needed progress to the fire department for the benefit of the citizens. Upon Chief McCormick’s untimely passing in March of 2018, I was appointed to serve as the city’s fire chief. 

During my time as assistant chief and fire chief we have empowered our firefighters to grow and learn. Today our department has 20 firefighters, eight of whom are certified at the professional firefighter II level. Five of our firefighters are EMTs or paramedics, and four more are enrolled in an EMT class presently. Since I have been chief, I have been able to modernize and expand our fleet to include a heavy-duty brush truck, a new 3,000-gallon tanker and an attack truck. 

By working with our school system, I was able to acquire a ladder truck to provide greater fire protection for our growing community and taller buildings. Our equipment, especially our Jaws of Life, is state-of-the-art. By working with our state senator and representative, I was able to secure a legislative appropriation to expand the fire station to house our growing fleet. We improved our department’s ISO rating from 9 prior to Chief McCormick’s tenure to a 5 just a few weeks ago, and we are on track to earn a 4 very soon. None of this would have been possible without the best group of firefighters in northwest Florida, and the help of many community leaders.

As your city councilman, I will use my experience and skills to bring local boards and agencies together for the common good of all, facilitating growth and development. I am committed to improving our city’s operational efficiency and while minimizing costs. Great opportunities lie ahead of us with our downtown development and the Highway 79 Corridor, and I want to work with the Department of Transportation to improve traffic flow through our city as we continue to grow. Thank you for your consideration.

Larry Cook, Candidate for Seat 1

Bonifay Fire Chief Larry Cook is running for Bonifay City Council Seat 1, opposed to candidate Jason Powell. Cook is pictured with his wife, Celena Cook. [CONTRIBUTED]

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