Pope's record makes him the best choice for village president

Opinion

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In less than four weeks, we shall have a unique chance to help Oak Parkers realize our goals for the community's future.

We can elect David Pope as our next village president on April 5.

As a colleague of David's for the last two years on the village board, I am confident that he will bring many admirable qualities to village decisions. Here, I can only mention a few.

First, David's leadership will demonstrate a clear commitment to the progressive principles which have guided Oak Park citizens for many years. The seeds were planted as he learned genuine family values at home, and then they grew as he was raised in this community while he was a student at Whittier school.

Diversity, acceptance, equality and service became his watchwords. These values led to a volunteer term in the Peace Corps after college, during which he served in rural Thailand.

Second, he will bring a no-nonsense approach to budget setting and the management of village spending. He will ask the necessary searching questions as the new board sets priorities and evaluates outcomes.

By measuring the actual performance of village programs under David's leadership, the board will be able to tell which of them are meeting community goals in the most efficient and cost-saving way. Set goals, measure the outcomes, retain the programs that work and change the ones that don't.

David's academic training and professional experience have prepared him admirably for the challenge of efficient management. His postgraduate work was at Northwestern University's prestigious Kellogg business school. Upon receiving his MBA degree, he was named the Outstanding Public Management Graduate.

After experience as a principal with Price Waterhouse, he established his own consulting company, with a wide range of clients, including a number of non-profits.

Finally, during our two years together as village trustees, I have been impressed with David's initiatives:

He insisted that we develop a master plan for downtown Oak Park, so that the board could evaluate developers' proposals according to sound, agreed-upon criteria, and not react to their proposals in a helter-skelter, unfocused manner.

He proposed?#34;and the board has held?#34;quarterly "board dialogue sessions" during which citizens could advance issues in face-to-face conversations with village trustees.

He has consistently advocated joint planning for Oak Park's future which will coordinate the individual goals of our local taxing bodies, and he has emphasized the importance of early childhood education as a major component of that planning.

During the next four years as our village president, David Pope can build on his experience as trustee and help the community achieve its vision for the future. Please join me in voting for him on Tuesday, April 5.

Galen Gockel
Oak Park Trustee

 

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