Former alderman challenges Gau for Sunset Hills Ward 1 seat

McGuire served on Board of Aldermen from 2007 to 2009

Richard Gau

Richard Gau

By Mike Anthony

A former alderman is challenging incumbent Richard Gau for the Ward 1 Sunset Hills Board of Aldermen seat in Tuesday’s election.

Douglas McGuire Jr., who served on the Board of Aldermen from 2007 to 2009, seeks to unseat Gau. McGuire was defeated in 2009 in his bid for a second two-year term by Bill Nolan. Nolan was elected mayor in 2010 and is facing a write-in challenger, Mark Furrer, in his bid for third two-year term as mayor next Tuesday.

• “To continue to bring common sense and constructive dialogue on the issues that will continue to make Sunset Hills a high-quality community,” Gau said.

• “Maintain strengthening the high quality of services offered by the city,” McGuire said.

McGuire, 64, 12501 Maret Drive, 63127, is an optometrist at McGuire Vision Center and De Soto Eye Care. He has two children in school.

He is seeking election “to ensure better representation for Ward 1 residents. I will seek out the opinion of voters.”

Gau, 45, 13019 Tapawingo Place, 63127, is president and CEO of the John Henry Foster Co. He and his wife, Julie, have a 6-year-old daughter.

Gau said he is seeking re-election because he is “trying to be part of the solution rather than just sitting on the sidelines by bringing common sense and fiscal conservative values to the legislative process to help Sunset Hills remain a high-quality community.”

The candidates gave the following responses to a Call questionnaire:

Gau said, “Seeing Mayor Nolan in action these past two years — his enthusiasm and dedication to the all the residents in Sunset Hills is contagious. Mayor Nolan wants nothing but the best for all the residents in Sunset Hills, and I support him in that effort.”

McGuire said, “I am not sure of Mayor Nolan’s direction for the city. Land is very valuable in our great city and all new developments should be thoughtfully considered for the long-term wants and needs of the city.”

Gau said, “I support working together with other public institutions to provide greater efficiency and services to all residents in Sunset Hills. Should this project come before the board — just like every topic that comes to board — I do my best to research the issue thoroughly, weighing all the pros and cons and using common sense.

“I will vote accordingly — based on all the input and what I think is in the best interest for all the residents of Sunset Hills.”

McGuire said, “I would support this project so that the residents might have access to an indoor pool during the colder months.”

Gau said, “The Deer Committee was formed to: review numerous complaints from residents; consider the increased safety issues with motorists; research and review the data on this topic from the Missouri Department of Conversation; coordinate the measurement of the deer the population by a professional outside agency; and to then recommend to the Board of Alderman the appropriate action.

“This issue was not taken lightly. Plenty of thought, research and deliberation were put into the issue. We believe that the approach approved by the Board of Alderman is best for the community.”

McGuire said, “The final count of dead deer was 55. Hopefully, the herd was thinned enough so that a hunt will not be needed on a regular basis. The Board of Aldermen should vote annually on the deer hunt so that the deer do not become a traffic problem.”

Gau said, “I support opportunities to improve the quality of life of all the residents in Sunset Hills. Open spaces, parks and other unique services like a dog park have proven to be value-added services for communities. I support quality partnerships and working together with other communities to provide greater efficiency and services to all our residents.”

McGuire said, “Phase One was voted on (and) supported by the parks board, of which I was a member, before I was replaced by the mayor. Most of the money for this project comes from grants. We will see how well the park is used before any considerations are made concerning Phase Two and Phase Three.”

Gau said “Absolutely. The Board of Aldermen has fully complied with the Sunshine Law. I will continue to fully comply with the Sunshine Law and will continue to work to help keep residents informed and aware of the activities of the Board of Alderman.”

McGuire said, “The Board of Aldermen, to the best of my knowledge, has complied with the Sunshine Law. I will not attend any meeting that is not in compliance, and I will inform the leader of any such meeting that they are not in compliance.”

Gau said, “I do not support the use of eminent domain for redevelopment projects.”

McGuire said, “Eminent domain was originally used for public projects and has morphed into a plan to take homeowners’ land for private developments. I could be in favor of using eminent domain for private projects.”

Gau said, “My vision for Sunset Hills is for Sunset Hills to be an even better place for my daughter to grow up. I have enjoyed being on the board for the past two years and helping to make a difference in our community. I would love the opportunity to continue to serve the residents of Sunset Hills and to continue to work on enhancing our wonderful community.”

McGuire said, “I have always viewed our beautiful city as the secret gem of south county. I want the city to continue to prosper and offer the residents all the amenities the city can afford.”