Candidate Profile: Forrest Gossett

Gossett is a candidate for Wentzville's Board of Alderman Ward 1 seat.

Forrest Gossett

Age: 56

Family: Wife, Laurie; stepchildren, Michael, 32, and Dawn, 28; two grandchildren.

Education: Bachelor of Arts in Communications, The American University, Washington, D.C.; MBA, Norwich University, Northfield, VT.

Occupation: Senior manager, communications, The Boeing Co.

Previous elected offices: None

Applicable experience: I have an extensive background in media and business. As a member of the Society of Professional Journalists, I have been an active advocate for open government. As a newspaper publisher, I understand the pressures of small businesses face in any economy, much less the one we are experiencing now.

Organizations: I have served on and chaired numerous boards, including Junior Achievement, United Way, and the Verizon Senior PGA Tournament; several Chambers of Commerce boards and church; volunteered on political campaigns; and active in literacy programs. I teach in the children’s ministry of Calvary Church West.


1. What is the primary reason you are running for this office?

I want to make a difference for Wentzville. We have lived here for six years and believe that it is a terrific place to live.

2. What will be your single most important priority if you get elected?

My most important priority is to help make this a responsive city for residents and small businesses. We must have a can-do attitude at City Hall. Equally important is protecting the investments of homeowners.

3. What sets you apart from the other candidates?

I am not running against anyone, I am standing for office. I can only speak for me. I have rolled my sleeves up and I have been active. During the battle with a developer who wanted to build small, slab homes in Golf Club of Wentzville, I helped lead the opposition to changing the rules of the community. We have stood for homeowners’ rights in front of the Board of Alderman and during conversations with our representatives on the board. I know what I bring to the city: Experience, passion, understanding, work ethic and understanding of government. I served in the U.S. Army and Army National Guard in enlisted and officer roles. I understand the importance of inclusive leadership. I have chaired a homeowners association, worked on campaigns, chaired nonprofit boards and served on chambers of commerce boards. I have long been an advocate of open government. The people's business should be conducted in the light of day.

4. How long have you lived in Wentzville?

Approximately 5 ½ years

5. What's your favorite thing about Wentzville?

The people. I grew up in the Deep South, but I can tell you Wentzville is a friendly city that welcomes outsiders with open arms.

6. What is the biggest problem in Wentzville?

 Wentzville has a series of issues rather than one big problem, in my view. Voters have entrusted the city with tax dollars for roads and parks. Our challenge is to be wise stewards of those funds and get the best deal possible for taxpayers. I believe we need to reinforce the emphasis on open government. An executive session should be rare. The Open Meetings Law in Missouri makes it clear that a public body “may” go into executive session for a narrow set of issues. Nowhere is the word “must.”

7. What is your vision for Wentzville?

We are well on the way to becoming more than crossroads. My vision is to help make this city a destination.


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