|Ward 3's Kevin Sherman Not Seeking Re-Election in 2023|
|By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff |
01:51PM / Thursday, November 17, 2022
|Ward 3 Councilor Kevin Sherman speaks at the recent hearing on Deming Park. The four-time councilor is not running in next year's election. |
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Ward 3 Councilor Kevin Sherman has decided to step aside in next year’s municipal election and leave room for new leadership.
"I am not going to seek re-election," he announced on Thursday, a year out from the city's next election.
"I threw my hat in the ring when [former Ward 3 Councilor Nick Caccamo] got out last year and wanted to try to help the city as we pull out of the COVID era and thought my experience on the council would be helpful and have had a great time being the councilor for Ward 3."
Sherman said he had a lot of available time when he decided to run which has since evaporated, explaining that there is just not enough of him to go around.
He will be finishing the term as strongly as he started, he said, and has both broad and specific goals for the next year.
"There are still some neighborhood issues that need addressing, some flooding issues that I'm very much concerned about down on Longview Terrace and Newell Street that I really want to have completed before I leave office," Sherman said.
"We want to continue to just make sure that the roads that need repairing are correctly prioritized on the list that we have. The DPW has worked very well with Ward 3 in that regard and we want to continue that from a larger standpoint. There are still public safety concerns, there are still economic development concerns, there are still budgeting concerns and I'll definitely be a part of those conversations."
He has also joined the city's effort in grappling with the uptick in homelessness that occurred during the pandemic, trying to find a balanced solution that protects businesses while maintaining a quality of life for unhoused residents.
"Larger issues are still at play that won't be solved in the next year, year and two months," Sherman said.
"But there's definitely more residential neighborhood Ward 3 things that we can we can tie up."
The councilor felt he has had a number of successes with his constituents by being highly responsive and helping to coordinate projects that the city followed through with. He is thankful for the resolutions that have been provided to residents and the public safety measures that the council has put in place during this term.
Last month, Sherman was able to secure additional signage on the problematic intersection of Elm Street and Holmes Road after hearing from abutting constituents who have had their homes hit by vehicles multiple times.
"That was long overdue. I'm very thankful to the department for getting it done so quickly once we brought it up. I'm thankful for the constituents' patience in getting that done," he said.
"The little things like that really make it worthwhile in regards to how we can solve problems together. Hopefully, it may not eradicate it completely, but it's a step in the right direction."
He also helped facilitate a public hearing for the proposed improvements to Deming Park after a request from constituents.
Sherman served three terms on the council, during which he was president, before stepping down in 2013. He entered the race last year with a focus on neighborhoods, businesses, and public utilities within the ward as well as citywide recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite differences in views on the current council, Sherman said he and his colleagues have always maintained respect for one another.
"I have nothing but respect because I know that they're doing things that they feel is right," he said, adding that he knows the councilors have constituents they have to answer to and that dynamic hasn’t changed over the years.
When asked if he saw a difference in serving on the municipal government before and after COVID, he reported seeing a lot of anger from residents in post-pandemic times that comes through in communications or on social media, which can be challenging.
"That's probably the biggest change, just time changes," he said.
"But government is government, you try to prioritize the best that you can, you make the best decisions that you can at the time, you have a vision and you try to stay the course on that vision for what you feel is the best. You try to lead from ahead, which is a very difficult thing to do, and that's why they're called leaders. Anybody can herd from behind, but leading from in front is a rewarding challenge and I'll miss that."