John Cook was born in Brooklyn, New York and served in the US Army during the Vietnam War. He worked in the telephone industry and was involved in various businesses before retiring and entering public service.

He was elected to City Council in 1999 and served as Mayor from 2005 to 2013. We were impressed that he prevailed in the 2005 election with a budget of only $60,000, while the incumbent Joe Wardy had about $500,000.

Cook was the longest continuously serving City leader in El Paso history and witnessed the transition to a city manager form of government in 2004.

We discussed his career in the private and public sectors, the City budget, non-voter-approved debt, the Ballpark, the MPC, and other issues.

Cook describes himself as a fiscal conservative and, in fact, we found ourselves agreeing on most issues in spite of our disagreements in the past.

We hope you enjoy this interview, the fourth in our series: