Even though Mayor William (Bill) Nolan Jr. is running opposed April 3, Patch spoke to him regarding his current term, his love for Sunset Hills and future goals for the next two years.
Patch: What were some of your goals coming in as mayor, and how do you think those have or have not been accomplished?
Nolan: Well, I can’t say I did as well as I’d have liked. To be blunt the tornado kind of “got in the way.” By the time we had things cleaned up and were into the uses of the vacant property it was June ’11 and the first year was over (in April). Working through the “Comprehensive Plan” issues took from June until November. Yeah, it was an unexpected use of time; I had other plans for when I won. I did appoint a purchasing study committee in the summer of 2010 and they did a great job.
I had hoped to identify all the trustees of all the subdivisions in Sunset Hills and begin a communications system, including meetings with them in each ward. It’s now a project for this year. I had also talked about Town Hall Meetings in each ward and I’m looking forward to those this summer.
I also was hoping to begin a marketing campaign to promote the City of Sunset Hills. Obviously, having a tornado on New Year’s Eve settled that. We became a media topic and household word for months, and I can comfortably say we are now one of the better known municipalities in St. Louis County.
Patch: How long have you lived in Sunset Hills? Can you tell me a little about your family?
Nolan: My wife, Mary, and I moved to our home in Sunset Hills in 1989, so we’ve been here 23 years this April.
Mary is my best friend and partner in every way. She is truly the love of my life. We ran our business together from 1984 until 2003, when circumstances required a change in ownership and Mary left to do her own thing.
A business in Owensville (we have a lake house there) called Living Fit Fitness Center kept her living there and me running back and forth every weekend for the next few years.
When she came back here and opened the Ultimate Body Wrap on Watson, I was the happiest man in town. She sold that business in early ’09, and when I decided to run for mayor she said I was going to win and would need help with the business, so she came back to Nolan Office Interiors and runs the day to day end of the company.
I have three children, two girls and a boy. They have two kids each, giving us six grandchildren and one great grandchild.
Patch: What do you love most about your community?
Nolan: That’s easy, the people. Sunset Hills has managed to hold on to the single family residency lifestyle that makes it a desirable area to live in. Property values are fairly stable and should begin to creep up again soon.
Our location at the intersection of two major interstate highways, coupled with Watson and Gravois allows us an almost park-like environment just minutes from everywhere. At nine square miles and 8,600 people we are not on top of each other like many of the concentrated major centers.
Patch: What is the biggest issue facing the City of Sunset Hills today and how do you plan on addressing that issue?
Nolan: I think our biggest issues are economic, not social. We need to develop an economic development plan that redevelops Watson Road, (which is looking pretty shabby) especially the old Color Art building. We need to find the best use of the commercial properties along Gravois from Sappington to the city limits. I firmly believe we can build on our present commercial areas without further encroachment on our residential areas, thus improving our income.
As a point of sales city I have been working to improve the disgraceful “sharing plan” in the county. Any improvement will be a surprise to me.
The cost of operating the city will not get cheaper in the future, so to maintain the level of service we have and hope for any type of improvement we will need more revenue. We also need to extend the Half Cent Capital Improvement Tax.
I think this will be a major goal of the city in the next few years.
Thanks for this opportunity to talk about our city.