Zerby won’t run in 2005

University graduate student Dan Miller announced he will run for the council seat.

Jason Juno

A change will soon occur in Ward 2 of Minneapolis, which includes the University and surrounding areas.

Paul Zerby, the Minneapolis City Council member representing Ward 2, announced Tuesday he will not run for a second term. University graduate student Dan Miller, who is not related to the Minnesota Daily reporter, announced Wednesday that he is running for the seat.

Zerby said it was a very hard decision not to run in November 2005.

“I did want to spend more time with my family,” Zerby said. “This is a job that is very interesting Ö I am just really pleased to have the chance to do it.

“I intend to do it for another year, but it is very demanding, especially in terms of time.”

Zerby said he wants to spend more time with his wife, Betts Zerby, now that his children are adults. Also, four years might be the right amount of time to serve, he said.

City Council President Paul Ostrow, Ward 1, said that while he and Paul Zerby have not agreed on everything, he has a lot of respect for him.

“He’s a tireless advocate for the issues Ö and people he represents,” Ostrow said.

He said they worked together on issues of code inspections and party houses in the Como neighborhood.

However, Ostrow said, they differ on how far the city should go when regulating things. He said Paul Zerby wants more involvement, while he wants less.

Brian Biele, president of the Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood Association, said Paul Zerby always came to meetings and stayed to talk to residents.

The ward would’ve received a new council member either way because of redistricting, Biele said.

Some others said they find little common ground with Paul Zerby.

Sue Jeffers, owner of Stub & Herbs, on the East Bank, has been an outspoken critic of Paul Zerby.

“I say ‘Thank God.’ No member in 25, in 50 years, has done as much to harm small businesses in this area than Paul Zerby,” she said.

She said Paul Zerby was for the smoking ban and a ban on booting vehicles, among other things that, in her opinion, reduce revenue for businesses.

“Then they wonder why the city of Minneapolis is considered so business-unfriendly,” Jeffers said.

Paul Zerby’s tenure

It is a job in which, at times, one can make a difference, Paul Zerby said.

The thing he said he is most proud of is the safety inspections that came after University students died in a house fire off campus in fall 2003. He said he jump-started the safety inspections, in which most of the 4,000 violations found involved health and safety issues.

Paul Zerby said the smoking ban might have passed without him there, but he does not know. He voted for the ban.

In his last year, Paul Zerby said, he hopes to foster a connection between the University and Minneapolis. He said he wants the city to examine how it can help the University.

Paul Zerby, a Democrat, also said he hopes the transitway turns into a University research park.

Replacement candidates

Miller said there are two main reasons he is running: his love for Minneapolis and getting residents involved with government.

Miller, a Democrat, said he would get residents involved by allocating resources to neighborhoods, which would include funding for revitalization programs and communications efforts.

“I think that has real benefits for students, because students are so often excluded from the political process,” he said. “I think they need someone who, as a student, can speak on their behalf.”

Miller lives in the Prospect Park neighborhood and is on the Prospect Park East River Road Improvement Association. He is a graduate student and teaching assistant. Miller is an economics student in the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs. He has lived in Minneapolis for four years after growing up in Golden Valley, Minn., and going to school in Massachusetts.

He will graduate before the election but said he thinks going through the endorsement process as a student will get students involved.

Miller said he would work on reaching out to the Somali community. He said in a press release that he’d also work with environmental and public school issues.

Bill Svrluga announced Tuesday that he would also run as a Democrat for the Ward 2 seat. Paul Zerby said he has talked to approximately six people thinking of running as Democrats, and he encouraged them to do so.