Archive for Thursday, November 11, 2004

Mayor, council president won’t seek another term

November 11, 2004

As with any election, there was always a chance things could change in April 2005. After learning the re-election plans of several Basehor officials this week, that possibility is now certain.

Two of three members on the Basehor City Council whose seats are up for re-election this spring told The Sentinel this week they will not seek an additional term next year. Both members are at the top two spots of the municipal government pecking order.

"I am not running," Basehor mayor Joseph Scherer said. "I've put a lot of hard thought into it, and I've decided I'd like to spend more time with my business and my family."

"As of now, I have no plans to run for re-election," City Council president Julian Espinoza said. "My kids are only small once and I have no intention of missing any more practices, games or concerts.

"It would take an act of God for me to change my mind."

City Council member Keith Sifford, who sits in the third position up for re-election, said this week he is uncertain whether he'll seek an additional term.

Of the three council members, only Espinoza was elected to his current position. Scherer was elected as a City Council member in 2001, but assumed the mayor's office a year later when then-mayor Bill Hooker resigned. Sifford was appointed to fill the vacancy created by Scherer's promotion.

In June, Scherer said he would seek election in April. However, he said this week that his priorities have shifted to his family. Also, the completion of his top two priorities -- hiring a city administrator and building a concept for a future downtown area -- makes it easier to step aside.

"I have accomplished those two things I wanted to accomplish so now it's time to let someone else continue the work we started," he said.

"Now that the city administrator (David Fuqua, who was hired in March) has been aboard for some time, he has proved himself over and over. I'll sleep well knowing that I'm leaving the city in his capable hands."

Espinoza is the longest tenured member of the City Council. He was appointed to fill a vacancy in November of 2000 and he kept his seat by winning the election in 2001.

"I was asked to fill a spot on the council and then I won my seat," Espinoza said. "I will have filled my responsibility by April of next year."

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