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Wyatt Facing Bequette In St. Mary Mayor Race

BY MARK EVANS

STE. GENEVIEVE HERALD

In the only contested municipal race, St. Mary Mayor Carlton Wyatt is being challenged by Adam Bequette, former police chief.

Bequette, son of the late Mark Bequette, followed in his father’s footsteps when he served as police chief 2020-2023. Mark Bequette held the position 2000-2016.

Wyatt, 81, is in his third tenure as mayor. He was last elected in July 2020, beating incumbent Gloria Bader in a special runoff election. (They had tied 37-37 during the regular municipal election.) His longest stretch as mayor was 1997-2005.

Bequette, 37, ran for office once before, losing to Clyde Cassout 17-10 for the Ward 1 alderman seat in 2020.

Both candidates were asked two questions. The first was to identify the city’s biggest challenge ad to tell how they would address it.

“One of the many problems we have in the city is not having a police officer full time,” Wyatt said. “We have been cutting back on funds to get a full-time officer but everything takes time.

Carlton Wyatt

“Another problem is not having enough city employees. We cannot get anyone that wants to work for the Water and Sewer department.

“Also combining the City Clerk and the City Collector’s position into one has saved the city some money. “

Adam Bequette

Bequette pointed to a handful of issues

“First and foremost, I am worried about the city’s response to our water and sewer infrastructure issues,” he said. “As a resident of the community, I have noticed a significant increase in my water and sewer bills as other citizens have also,  which has prompted me to seek clarification and possible alternatives.

“Water and sewer are essential resources and I fully understand the need for maintaining infrastructure, while not making our citizens scrap their pockets. I am also concerned with the deteriorating roads in the city.”

He mentioned “potholes, cracks and other signs of wear and tear at every stop sign.”

“I am deeply troubled by the lack of maintenance,” Bequette said. “Lastly, I would like to see more businesses and housing in our small community. An expansion of businesses would benefit all of our residents. Thriving business environments are essential for enhancing our quality of life and promoting economic development as this once was a thriving town.”

The other question was why they are seeking the office.

“I am seeking office to try and help the city more with my dedication and experience,” Wyatt said.

“I believe that I have what it takes and can bring leadership to become the next Mayor of St. Mary, Missouri,” Bequette said.

Bequette, an Army Calvary veteran,  has criminal justice degrees from both Indiana University and Southeast Missouri State University.