Farmington — With city elections almost five months away, Councilor Jason Sandel has paid from his own pocket to distribute a 15-question poll to city residents.

City elections are March 4 and candidate filing is Jan. 7. But Sandel is not running again for a council seat, he said. Councilor Dan Darnell said Sandel could be running for mayor, however.

"He could be testing the water to see if he wants to run for mayor -- I don't know," Darnell said.

But Sandel said, "I don't have any intention to run for mayor at this time."

He sponsored the survey because several of the questions address areas of "significant concern" to residents, and he wants to know their opinions, he said.

Vouncil will discuss in the next few months whether the city will use coal or natural gas to generate its electricity, Sandel said. Question 12 in the survey asked residents which they prefer.

Sandel will not run for council again when his term expires in March because his ideas are often disregarded, he said, and he is frustrated.

"It seems as if there's a voting block on the council regardless of what the issue is," he said, "and that voting block doesn't involve me."

The other 14 questions asked residents if they support the council's recent decision to increase "electric costs" and if they approve of the council's and the state legislator's performance. Two other questions asked residents if they approve of Mayor Tommy Roberts' performance and would reelect him.

His survey, Sandel said, did not target any individual, city department or issue. He wanted only to know where residents stood, he said.

The survey was submitted by phone from Oct. 22 to the end of the week, he said. Neither Roberts nor councilors Darnell, Fischer or McCulloch knew of the survey until the Oct. 22 council meeting.

Sandel would not share how much money he spent conducting his survey.

The survey's initial results are in, he said, but he would not release them to The Daily Times. He may release the results to individuals if they request them, he said.

Dan Schwartz covers government for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4606 and dschwartz@daily-times.com. Follow him @Dan_J_Schwartz on Twitter.