After a decade of public service, Brainerd's Bob Sherman stepped aside recently to allow someone else to step up.
"It's just a matter of time," Sherman said of his recent resignation from the city of Brainerd's Transportation Committee and Planning Commission. Sherman served simultaneously on both, filling the chairman's post on both as well. After putting in 10 years of public service, Sherman said it was time for someone else to have the option for civic duty.
"I think they need to have an opportunity to get involved," Sherman said.
While the service is time-consuming, particularly the Planning Commission, Sherman said the effort was enjoyable, rewarding and interesting. For civic-minded residents, Sherman said it's a chance to be involved and serve.
"It's not that formidable," Sherman said. "I think it's a civic responsibility for everyone whether you are educated in those particular areas or not. It's your civic responsibility to get involved."
The first year is a learning experience, Sherman said, but he added staff is there to help newcomers particularly Mark Ostgarden, city planner.
In his work on the Planning Commission, Sherman was involved in the recent update of the city's zoning ordinance through interaction with the public. It involved reviewing the ordinance line by line. Sherman said the goal was to provide better organization for the ordinance and make it more user friendly. Sherman said it had been 40 to 50 years since the document had been rewritten.
While not all the recommendations were accepted, Sherman said the commission was pleased overall. A tree preservation plan wasn't included. Sherman said it was proposed as an effort to protect areas for future development to prevent clear-cutting but the plan had a lot of opposition as people worried it would have a lot of control on individual parcels. A number of cities have the tree preservation plan, but this was not the time for Brainerd, Sherman said.
Now that he'll have more free time, Sherman said he'll be able to focus on his family business, Midwest Captions - an Internet design and development firm - family and travel.
The Brainerd City Council accepted Sherman's resignation on Jan. 4 and voiced approval that he receive the city's Tower Award. At the meeting, council member Lucy Nesheim said: "He has given the city the outstanding contribution of his talents over the years. We deeply regret his leaving."
RENEE RICHARDSON may be reached at email@example.com or 855-5852.
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