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Third try at service for Auburn candidate

AUBURN - A man who twice resigned from elected positions in this city's government is again running for council.

Len Cooper, who resigned after serving 27 months as a councilman and six and a half months as Auburn's mayor qualified Monday to run for the council seat vacated by David Hawthorne when he accepted a job as the city's Public Works director.

"I owe the city of Auburn 21 months that I deeply, deeply regret not having completed the first time," Cooper said.

Cooper, who served as mayor in 1998, said he was also acting city clerk when he left the post because he didn't agree with council members' attempts to usurp the mayor's power. He said he left the council in 2004 because other council members were holding illegal executive sessions and not informing him or the mayor.

In running again, Cooper said there is nothing that would make him leave his post. He said if elected, he will vote the residents' wishes and not enter the job with a personal agenda.

Cooper has also served as chairman of the Barrow County Personnel Board of Appeals and vice chairman of the Barrow County Airport Authority. He worked for GEC Marconi Avionics, an aircraft manufacturer, for 18 years before retiring as the director of manufacturing in 1994.

Cooper said he thinks the council is headed in a positive direction. He would eventually like to bring sewer service to all homes in Auburn, and said his priorities include bringing more business to the city and helping complete a master plan to attract more grant money.

Qualifying for the vacant post closes today for the election to be held March 21.

n Name: Len Cooper

•Age: 65

•Education: Associates degree from Atlanta School of Electronics, took various management courses.

•Occupation: Retired director of manufacturing from GEC Marconi Avionics

•Political experience: Served six and a half months as mayor of Auburn, 27 months on council.

•Family: Wife Zippy, five children, three grandchildren