South Fargo woman enters mayoral race
Sheri Fercho stresses city beautification and preservation in her vision for the city.
FARGO — Sheri Fercho said she may not have the experience, but she has a vision for the city as she announced her run for the growing list of Fargo mayoral candidates.
Her vision focuses on beautifying the city and preserving core neighborhoods.
"I care for our city and want to do what's best for it and the people that live in it," she said in a personal interview conducted before she officially announces her candidacy on Thursday, March 31, making her the sixth candidate in the mayoral race.
She said she doesn't think a person wakes up one morning and decides to seek the office.
"It finds you and through trials, fears and even tears, God is preparing me for this moment," she said. "God has turned my trials into motivation, my fears into faith and my tears into tears of joy."
She points out that she is a lifelong resident who grew up along the river in north Fargo and could walk out her back door and in minutes be in a grassy open field and woods by the Red River.
"Fargo is growing, but the city does not shine. What is missing is beautification," said Fercho, a stay-at-home mom who now lives in the Rose Creek neighborhood.
Many of her ideas and vision focus on ideas from other cities where leaders there have transformed and preserved their community heritage and added beauty.
As an example, she would like to create an architectural review commission to replace the planning and historic preservation commissions. She said the nine-member board could address preservation, historic planning, architectural history and archaeology. It would be modeled after a Tampa, Fla., panel.
A vice president of the Fargo-Moorhead Heritage Society, Fercho said after the wonderful job that's being done in reviving downtown, the "next renaissance" should be in the core neighborhoods.
She also believes with the Fargo-Moorhead Diversion being constructed, the riverfront should also be a prime spot for preservation, green space and beautification. She said the city of Dubuque, Iowa, found multiple private investors willing to join in preserving their riverfront with the effort coordinated by the historical society.
Fercho is also a supporter of walkable neighborhoods, more trees in the city and maintaining existing trees. She has been working with the city and the forestry department on a new tree ordinance to try to accomplish those goals.
On other issues, she believes developers of new neighborhoods in Fargo should foot the bill for infrastructure and not rely on special assessments, and she also favors election reforms to again create a ward system and create a seven-member City Council.
Fercho said the city in its earliest days had a three-ward system. She believes that brings the elected officials to the people and they can have their voices heard.
Other announced candidates for mayor are Hukun Dabar, Dustin Elliott, Shannon Roers Jones and Arlette Preston, along with incumbent Tim Mahoney.
Filings for the June 14 city election, run in conjunction with the state primary as well as school board and park board elections, are due by 4 p.m. on April 11.