Davis a leader on township board

Opinion: Letters To The Editor

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On April 9, we have four votes for the OPRF High School board. One of mine will be cast for Eric Davis. Eight years ago, Eric joined me and two other incumbent trustees on the board of Oak Park Township. The learning curve proved to be challenging for him.

Eric often recommended a course of action or response without understanding how a public body works, how the levy process works, how the township infrastructure functions. No one on the board would tell you there were no difficult moments, no tense meetings, and no frustrating debates. To his credit, Eric committed to learning how to work with a diverse board, finding consensus, and working tirelessly with his fellow board members to serve the taxpayers and the township.

During Eric's two terms, our board tackled the issue of a funding request from the Collaboration for Early Childhood. Traditionally the township has focused our youth services efforts on at-risk teens. Unclear how funding the Collaboration would fit with the township's mission, Eric helped identify a reasonable rationale for us to embrace the Collaboration.

Some on our board also wanted to see greater detail about the Collaboration's vision — what specifically they planned to do and what metrics we would have for their efforts. Working with the Collaboration as a united board, we found a process consistent with our stated mission, our financial policies, and the youth service programs and initiatives we routinely fund. Eric Davis was a leader in that effort, much as he has done in helping the current District 200 board find a way to support the Collaboration's funding request to that board.

After serving with Eric for eight years, we still have the occasional difference of opinion and take our own path. Regardless, we respect each other and support each other — always looking to serve our constituents' best interests. While I will miss him at the township table, I can assure you his experience and willingness to consider new perspectives and new directions will support the students, families, and staff of D200 and serve all taxpayers well. I hope you will join me and support Eric's candidacy with your vote.

Clarmarie Keenan

Oak Park Township trustee

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