South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

Two Green Park incumbents face challengers

Pousosa challenges incumbent Reinagel in Ward 1; Thuston faces incumbent Deters in Ward 2
Anthony Pousosa
Anthony Pousosa

Incumbent aldermen in two Green Park wards are facing challengers in Tuesday’s election.

Ward 1 Alderman Bob Reinagel is being challenged by Anthony Pousosa while Ward 2 Alderman Chuck Deters is facing Tim Thuston. The seats carry two-year terms.

Asked to identify the most important issue in the race, the candidates responded:

• “Open communication and true resident representation. The residents need to know that their voices will be heard and that they are an important part of the community, and they can trust that decisions made by the mayor and the board will be in the best interest of all residents, not a selected few,” Pousosa said.

• “Maintaining the quality and character of Green Park’s residential neighborhoods and the infrastructure and services to support this,” Reinagel said.

• Deters did not respond to a Call questionnaire.

• “The widening and improvement of Green Park Road because it will use a huge portion of the city’s treasury for nothing,” Thuston said.

Pousosa, 36, 9700 Antigua Drive, 63123, is a registered nurse and is employed as the resource nurse for the Head and Neck Operating Room at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. He and his wife, Regina, have two young children.

Pousosa, who has not held elective office, said he is seeking election to the Ward 1 seat because “I want the residents to have an elected official who will not take two years to learn what is going on and who will join with our other 1st Ward alderman in listening and responding to the needs of our residents. I plan on living in this city for many years past my retirement and especially want to make sure our city upholds its comprehensive-plan goal to: ‘preserve, reinforce and upgrade existing residential neighborhoods by preventing the incursion of non-residential uses into residential areas.”’

Reinagel, 66, 10957 Suanis Court, 63123, is a consultant and state liaison for Pitney Bowes Inc. He and his wife, Nancy, have three grown children.

Reinagel, who was elected to the Ward 1 seat two years ago, said he is seeking re-election because he is a “resident and homeowner in Green Park. Our city is a great place to live and raise a family — want to keep it that way.”

Deters, 10925 Arctic Drive, 63123, has served has a Ward 2 alderman since 1999. This is the first time he has been opposed.

Thuston, 52, 9400 Green Park Road, 63123, is a membership consultant for CSA Global. He has five children ranging in age from 31 to 12.

Thuston, who has not held elective office, said he is seeking election to the Ward 2 seat “to speak on behalf of those unwilling or unable.”

Deters did not respond to a Call questionnaire. The other three candidates gave the following responses:

Since voters approved a half-cent, capital-improvements sales tax, are you pleased with how the revenue has been spent? Have the residents’ needs been served?

Pousosa said, “The 2003 street-replacement program needs to be revisited. Many residential streets are in need of repair. Plan priorities are being placed on hold, and significant monies are being dedicated to the unknowns of the Green Park Road project, which will simply invite additional external cut-through traffic.

“I believe that all residential streets should be replaced before Green Park Road improvement begins. I believe that the residents should receive the benefit of better residential streets now — they should not have to wait until the Green Park Road project is completed in order to have their streets replaced.”

Reinagel said, “Yes. Road replacement is on track. (The) city has a plan for street re-placement and it is on track with funding.”

Thuston said, “No. And that is what caused me to get involved. Where is the money?”

Do you support the Board of Aldermen’s decision to offer free once-a-week trash pickup?

Pousosa said, “Yes, yes and yes. This is the very issue that motivated me to run for alderman. The continued negative attitude of the majority of the current administration was swayed only when those up for re-election realized how many people shared my view of trash pickup. We, the residents of Green Park, awoke from our slumber and we started to present a united front that would not be denied. I believe the board’s recent flip-flop decision simply reflects their fears regarding the election and does not represent their true intention of representing the residents. Otherwise, if this were true, city-funded trash pickup would have been a non-issue in this election, since it would have been taken care of months ago.

“Now for the first time in Green Park’s history, residents are finally going to reap the benefits from the taxes they pay. That is a long time to wait don’t you think?”

Reinagel said, “Yes. The city can offer this service to its citizens. This and recycling keep our city a leader.”

Thuston said, “Yes. Residential property owners only.”

How much of a fund balance should the city keep in its reserves each year?

Pousosa said, “Currently, our city has a $3.5 million surplus. I believe a reserve of $750,000 to $1 million is more appropriate. For years, financial advisers have instructed working individuals and families to save at least one month’s salary to have something to fall back on if something should happen such as job loss, illness or natural disaster. I believe the same concept can be used effectively for the city of Green Park.

“I believe Green Park should be investing in its citizens, not hoarding money in low-interest-bearing bank accounts. Good financial planning now will ensure the viability of this city for years to come, leaving this hidden treasure located in the heart of south county for future generations to enjoy.”

Reinagel said, “I would like to see about one year’s operating funds or around $1 million. The city is fiscally in great shape and future road plans have sufficient funding. The trash service will cost approximately $168,000 per year and the city could do this because of its financial picture.”

Thuston said, “Enough to cover the operating expenses for six months in the case of some sort of crisis.”

What is your position on the use of tax-increment financing and other tax tools?

Pousosa said, “My greatest concern is for the residents of Green Park. I am not aware of any TIFs being considered by the city.”

Reinagel said, “Don’t like it and at present don’t see any proposals that would need or utilize it.”

Thuston said, “They can be useful if they are needed. Does Green Park need these now? I think not.”

What, if anything, should be done to redevelop the Yuma Drive area?

Pousosa said, “I would follow the policies, values and guidelines of the city’s comprehensive plan.”

Reinagel said, “There is a comprehensive plan that hopefully will allow the tract to be developed as a unit. It is designed with Lindbergh Boulevard-oriented retail buffer-ed by residential attached family units.”

Thuston said, “Explore residential development only for single- or double-family occupancy.”

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