Longtime Sherman resident David Hopkins has thrown his hat into the ring, petitioning to run as an independent candidate for the job as Sherman's first selectman.

Hopkins, 72, registered with the Sherman town clerk's office Wednesday, June 5, and is now gathering petition signatures.

He plans to be at the Sherman Green near the IGA on the morning of June 15 to talk with voters and gather signatures.

"I'm concerned with the fiscal health of the town. I don't feel it's where it should be," said Hopkins.

He noted his role initially would be to listen and learn before taking any action to turn finances in the town around.

"The new Plan of Conservation and Development is about to be approved by the Planning and Zoning Commission," Hopkins added. "I want to assure that boards and commissions fill their roles in enacting what the POCD outlines. As first selectman, that would be my role."

Hopkins previously served on the town's Planning and Zoning Commission from 2003 to 2009, serving as chairman the last four years.

He and his wife, Janet, owned and operated "The Sherman Sentinel" until its sale in 2007.

Retired from IBM, he holds a degree in industrial administration from Yale University. During his 35 years at IBM, he filled marketing, technical and management roles.

"For many years I was a registered Republican, but in the last few years I have not been happy with either party's performance on the national level," Hopkins said.

"As a result, I left the Republican party," he added. "I feel it is appropriate that I run as unaffiliated."

Sherman's GOP first selectman, Clay Cope, will be up for re-election in November, should he choose to run again.

-- Susan Tuz