A day after his death, Potter County Commissioner Manny Perez is being remembered as a passionate man, and a man who lived for his family. As the county's longest serving commissioner, he also lived to fight for the people of Precinct Two.
Flags are at half staff at Potter County Commissioners Court now as a somber remembrance of a man who lived to serve.
Manny Perez slipped into a coma earlier this month following complications from surgery. He passed away Tuesday, October 25, 2011 afternoon, leaving behind a loving family, and a public who adored him.
"What the public may not realize that Manny was a very devoted family man . He cared a lot about his family and his grandchildren. But he was also a man of faith," said Joe Kirkwood, Potter County Commissioner.
He also says Perez served as commissioner for more than 20 years. In that time, he helped to accomplish a lot. From renovating the courts building, to being an advocate for preserving the baseball complex, even spending countless hours and years fighting for the Grand Street Overpass Project.
"Am really not sure that bridge would be being built if he wasn't actively through the years going before the City Commission saying look, my people, as he would call them, need that bridge," said Kirkwood.
In fact, he joked about the possibility of having the bridge named after Manny Perez, once completed in March of 2012.
Perez was also known for his protests of tax increases.
"Potter County Commissioners Court will never be the same again. And, nobody will ever be able to fill the shoes that Manny stood in and so it will forever be changed."
Kirkwood said he had a tough exterior, but was more like a marshmallow inside. He said Perez was a loyal man who fought tirelessly for what the people of his precinct needed. A loyal friend he said will be greatly missed.
Funeral arrangements are being made by his family. Right now, those have not been made public.
Meantime, County Judge Arthur Ware will now appoint someone to serve the rest of the commissioner's term in office.