Sunset Hills voters will make some critical decisions for the city’s future when they go to the polls April 7.
Incumbents in Ward 1, Ward 2 and Ward 4 are facing challengers.
In Ward 3, two political newcomers are vying for the seat held by Jan Hoffmann for the past 24 years.
In Ward 1, incumbent Dee Baebler is being challenged by Daniel Werner, who has unsuccessfully sought office three times in Sunset Hills. Acting board President Scott Haggerty of Ward 2 faces opposition from Steve Bersche, a newcomer to politics. In Ward 4, incumbent Pat Fribis faces two challengers — newcomers Sal Frisella and Thomas Hammelman.
Newcomers Keith Kostial and Lori Scarlett are vying for the Ward 3 seat Hoffmann is vacating.
It’s been less than a year since Mayor Mark Furrer’s stunning write-in victory over Bill Nolan, but the damage Furrer has done to the city’s image is enormous. Part of the hit the city’s image has taken is a result of the two felony charges Furrer faces from a July 29 incident in which the mayor allegedly hit Fenton bicyclist Randy Murdick with his car on Old Gravois Road. The city also has suffered because it’s obvious Furrer still hasn’t taken the time to learn the duties and responsibilities of serving as mayor, including the fact that the Board of Aldermen makes policy — not the mayor.
In a March 3 email, Hoffmann proposed making some changes to the city’s policy on estate sales.
Furrer replied, “I do not see the need. The current ordinance is not enforced anyway. I have seen multiple day sales regardless of the ordinance. (D)o we really need to delve into this when no problems have occurred? Perhaps you can mention it to Keith Kostial and see if he wants to pursue this.”
After Fribis attended a county Planning Commission meeting last week, she noted in an email the panel takes a showing of hands for and against a proposal after public hearings.
“I liked their approach and it gave everyone an opportunity to speak and a vote of show of hands,” she wrote in the March 20 email.
Furrer replied, “So you feel a majority that may only represents a minority should help decide an issue?? You have never seemed to be impressed by a majority of department heads who opposed your heavy handed control of vacations and holiday issues? Nor were you ever swayed by a majority of an audience positions when they oppose your and Dees (sic) agenda lets (sic) wait until after the election. Hopefully we will have a sharper group on the board.”
Given that, it’s obvious Furrer is not supporting the incumbents. That’s a shame, but not a surprise. We believe residents have received solid and professional leadership from Baebler, Haggerty and Fribis.
We’ve seen firsthand the devastating consequences of a bullying mayor running roughshod over a board. That’s why it’s imperative Sunset Hills voters return Baebler, Haggerty and Fribis to office, as we believe their challengers have turned a blind eye to the dysfunction Furrer has brought to their city.
In Ward 3, we believe Scarlett has a far better grasp of the issues facing the city, including the cause of its dysfunction, and urge voters to elect her.
No matter the outcome of the April 7 election, we believe Sunset Hills residents can take solace that Furrer’s “leadership” will be for one term and one term only.