Chad Cleckler had to hit the ground running as the new member of the Whitehouse city council. He believes he is in it to the finish line.
The Cleckler family moved to Whitehouse about 15 years ago. His wife Chris was from Tyler. When the opportunity came to make a move back to this area the move to Whitehouse was a pretty simple decision. They came to Whitehouse because of the school system. Of course they did. Didn’t everyone?
As the director of operations for the Diocese of Tyler, Cleckler oversees all of the facility related services and project, handles the insurance activities as well as risk management and business. He works closely with the financial director as well.
Chad and Chris are also owners of 1st Class Design and Dancewear in Whitehouse. A business that started at home is now in their second store front because they outgrew the first one.
The Clecklers have two children, Sarah and Daniel. Sarah graduated from Whitehouse High School last year and now attending Tyler Junior College. Daniel is a sophomore at WHS.
Needless to say, Cleckler has a vested interest in seeing that the city of Whitehouse is successful in serving its citizens and that it is appealing to new businesses.
His first service to the city came after his appointment to the Planning and Zoning Commission. As he began to see more of the inner workings of the city, his interest grew and he was eager to learn.
It wasn’t long until Mayor Charles Parker approached him about serving on the city council. Pat Powell’s seat was available and no candidate came forward to run. That left the council with the responsibility of appointing someone to fill the seat until the next election. After additional conversations with another councilmember and gaining the blessing of his family, Cleckler agreed to accept the position.
“I am happy to be here and I’m learning a lot,” Cleckler said. “City Manager Aaron Smith and the staff are helping me play catch up so I’m current on the issues, the budget.”
The work that Cleckler does with the Diocese has really prepared him for just such a position.
“I work with a lot of communities, a variety of people,” he said. “Being able to remain objective is very important. You can’t make sound decisions off of emotions.”
That objective way of thinking is what Cleckler agrees is a strong-suit he brings to the table.
“It is really important that the decisions we make on the city council are done after carefully studying the facts,” Cleckler continued. “We have to be fiscally responsible. It is our money, all of the tax-paying citizens and we are responsible for the best use of those funds.”
Cleckler sees the importance of the city and the school district working side by side for the benefit of both entities.
“Whitehouse is built around our schools,” Cleckler said. “The buy-in for our community is our schools. We have to continue to promote that buy-in for our city as well.”
Recruiting new businesses is one of the areas that Cleckler sees as a brass ring the city should reach for.
“I see a need for economic development, going out and bringing in new businesses,” he said. “We have to be prepared to show them what we have to offer, why they should come to our city. We have to plan for that, to make sure our infrastructure is what it should be. Responsible growth is a major responsibility too. It is time for us to start on a new master plan like Vision 2020. It is almost the year 2020. We have to be planning for our future now.”
Cleckler spends some of his free time giving back to the community through the Scouting program. He says he has been active with Pack/Troop 359 in Whitehouse for nine years. The Scout pledge and motto reflect the model by which Cleckler lives and works.
“On my honor, I will do my best to do my duty
To God and my country and to obey the Scout Law;
To help other people at all times;
To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.”
As a Scout, as a husband and father, as an employee and as a city council member, Chad Cleckler will do his best to always be prepared.