Call makes endorsements in Sunset Hills elections for mayor and aldermen

Call Newspapers Editorial


Sunset Hills residents donated more pounds of food than any other city to the May 9 “Mayors for Meals” event, a testament to how engaged the city’s citizens are. This year’s election for mayor is proving no different.

Mayor Pat Fribis is challenged by John Stephens, a physician who objects to the city’s lease for rugby fields near his house. Even Fribis’ critics admit that she has excelled as an ambassador for Sunset Hills.

When she was first elected in 2016, the mayor’s office was a national embarassment. Her accomplishments for the city, starting with going door to door to get signatures for its first pool, literally go on for pages.

But in a time when residents have begun to push back on various issues, could Stephens be just what the doctor ordered for Sunset Hills?

Although we welcome Stephens’ energy and aspirations, he has never so much as served on a city committee. We strongly believe that anyone who wants to serve as mayor should first serve the city in some other way and perhaps be involved with the city for more than 18 months, and on more than a single driving issue.

While there’s room to improve, Stephens’ charge that the city is not transparent doesn’t hold up, especially when compared to other cities.

Notably, Stephens has said that he supports City Administrator Eric Sterman, who is the actual official behind many of the things Stephens criticizes. Does he realize that or is it all just politics? Before Fribis and Sterman, the rugby lease wouldn’t have been posted publicly before the meeting at all. When she came in as mayor, the city started posting the entire packets that aldermen receive so that residents can see what the aldermen see. Few other local governments show that transparency.

Until the last year, Fribis united the city with calm and steady leadership built on decades of outstanding service to a city she clearly loves. And we think she’ll see that unity again.

The Call endorses Fribis.

Ward 3 alderman

Kurt Krueger is being challenged by Cathy Friedmann, who has also criticized the rugby lease. Both would serve well, but the city has been assisted on architectural issues by Krueger. The Call endorses Krueger.

Ward 4 alderman

Incumbent Thompson Price’s challenger Drew Hrach didn’t return our questionnaire, which doesn’t speak well of his commitment to the city. We heartily endorse Price and his business acumen and common sense.