City Commissioner Jim Sherow announced Tuesday that he would not seek a third term in office, but that didn’t deter him from suggesting a question for the spring ballot.
“My time on this commission, it would come round and round about the fireworks without any understand where the public stands on this,” Sherow said. “We hear from both sides all the time. So, I would like to see something put forward.”
Sherow said he wanted an advisory election on whether to keep or ban fireworks in Manhattan in order to gauge public opinion.
Sherow was one of two incumbents to declare a dis-interest in seeking re-election. School board member Peter Paukstelis declared Wednesday morning that he would not seek a new term on that body.
Mayor Loren Pepperd said he thought a vote of the type proposed by Sherow would be a waste of money. He said it would cost taxpayers $20,000 to put the question on the ballot without any real decision being made because commissioners would not be bound by the result.
Pepperd also questioned whether Sherow’s proposal would get a good representation of city views. “You are lucky to get 6,000 people to vote on city or school board elections,” he said afterward.
Pepperd said people who vote in city and school board elections were usually special interest groups who were pushing a specific agenda, and not an accurate representation of the citizens as a whole.
Citycommissioner Wynn Butler said he would like to see the question put before voters because it would give him a good idea on how to vote when fireworks came up on the commission agenda.
Commissioner Rich Jankovich said he agreed with Butler and Sherow, although he was concerned about the cost.
Pepperd told the Mercury that city attorney Katherine Jackson provided him the $20,000 cost estimate.
After discussion ended on fireworks, Sherow read a prepared statement on his decision to not seek re-election.
“It really doesn’t really concern me at all that in 150 years, 50 years or for that matter even in five minutes that no one in Manhattan remembers that I served as commissioner or mayor,” he said. “It is enough knowing I played a role as many have before me in continuing the work of improving the lives of people living in our terrific city.”
He said he has enjoyed his six years on the commission serving the citizens of Manhattan and looks forward to stepping aside to allow new members of the community to step up and serve on the commission.
Sherow is the first of three incumbents whose terms expire this year to announce his plans. The terms of Pepperd and Jankovich also expire.