Appointment caps hectic week for new mayor
Last week was a heck of a week for newly appointed Basehor mayor Joseph Scherer.
On Tuesday, Aug. 27, Scherer learned he was next in line to become the city's new mayor following the surprise resignation of then-Basehor mayor Bill Hooker.
A few days later, he became a father for the first time.
Scherer's daughter, Lauren, was born Friday, Sept. 30, at Overland Park Regional Medical Center.
"The birth of my little girl was the utmost and foremost thing on my mind that week," Scherer said. "I knew for the next few days that the city would still survive without me."
Now that baby and mother are home, it's time to tend to business, he said.
"Lauren is home and it's time to lead our community," Scherer said.
Hooker resigned Aug. 26 during a City Council meeting citing the unwillingness by council members and city staff to support him as their mayor.
As City Council president, Scherer, 33, was next in line to take the position.
He said the decision to become mayor was a no-brainer.
"There was no question that I would accept the position immediately," he said.
And there's no doubt that he takes his new position seriously, but he knows he can't do it alone.
"I realize that the responsibility of mayor is to see to our city functions on a daily basis and plan for our future. With the knowledge, views, wisdom and experience of our City Council, Planning Commission, city staff, citizens and myself, I feel I have the power to lead our community with pride, not the power to run the city," he said.
By law, City Council members had to approve not only Hooker's resignation but also Scherer's appointment. Both were approved Wednesday, Aug. 28, during a telephone poll.
Scherer will be officially sworn in as mayor during the City Council meeting Sept. 17.
His council position is now vacant until a replacement is appointed.
After a replacement is found, council members will elect a new council president. City officials said this could be done at the September meeting.
"We will publish that there is a vacancy on the City Council," Scherer said. There is currently a list of two to three candidates for the position. However, Scherer has his own ideas of what kind of council member could be appointed.
"I would like to see a business owner or a resident that has shown an impact in Basehor," Scherer said.
Anyone interested in the vacant council position is encouraged to call Scherer or Basehor City Hall at (913) 724-1370.
Scherer, who owns Realty Executives in Bonner Springs, is also a developer.
He is currently involved in developing Iron Creek, a subdivision on 155th Street, and has at least one more Basehor development planned in the future.
The City Council is faced with development issues each meeting and as a council member, Scherer abstained from voting on several development issues.
"I don't want to have the public perception that I'm benefiting in any way, shape or form," Scherer said.
Scherer doesn't see a conflict in being a developer and city leader, especially now that he has no voting rights as mayor.
"I don't see any conflict because I'm one of many developers in the community," Scherer said.
"I need Basehor to survive for me to survive," he added. "If Basehor doesn't succeed, I don't succeed."
Scherer was elected to the Basehor City Council in April 2001. He defeated incumbent council member Vic Ziegler.
Before being elected to the City Council last year, Scherer had previous city experience. He served on the Basehor Planning Commission for five years.