John the Mower vies for city commission seat

SANDUSKY "John the Mower" may soon become "John the Commissioner."
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010

 

SANDUSKY

"John the Mower" may soon become "John the Commissioner."

John Hamilton, the resident who made national headlines in May after he was arrested while mowing grass in Central Park, said Tuesday he will seek a city commission seat in the November election.

In his first foray into politics, Hamilton said he will fight for "the will of the people."

"I don't have a platform yet," he said. "I am just going to go into the neighborhoods and see what the people want and need and try to help them."

Hamilton added that he thinks his life experiences will allow him to bring reform to city government.

"I've done a lot of traveling and seen a lot stuff in a lot places. I can bring a lot of fresh ideas," he said. "I've seen how things tick in other places and how things work and, hopefully, I can bring some of the good ideas back here."

Hamilton, a Huron native who has lived the past 13 years in Sandusky, began circulating petitions to collect signatures this weekend. He spends his days working as a manufacturer's representative, selling castings, forgings, bearings and other steel mill repair equipment.

He said although his arrest in May sparked his interest in a commission seat, he doesn't hold any grudges against city manager Matt Kline or the police department. The arrest won't be a part of his campaign, he said.

"The press got onto Michael Jackson and (a) few others lately, so I'm past history," he joked.

According to Debbie McDowell, the director of the Erie County Board of Elections, only three candidates -- fired police Chief Kim Nuesse and incumbents Pervis Brown Jr. and Bob Warner -- have turned in petitions so far with the necessary signatures. Candidates must file their petitions with the board by Aug. 20.

Although Brown and Warner are incumbents, both were appointed to their seats in 2008, and hope to be elected for the first time.

Warner said improving the quality of life for residents is his top priority. He pointed to the splash pad in Huron Park, which will open later this summer, as evidence of progress.

"And Lions Park -- (fellow commissioner) Dave (Waddington) has been working hard on that -- and I'd like to help with that," he added, referencing the city's plan to renovate the west-side park.

Nuesse said she will "insist on accountability" if elected, and implied she would fight for reform.

"My mantra is: Real leadership, real vision," she said. "If there's a breakdown in the city, it means the leadership is broken. And that needs to be fixed before the city can move forward."