Village President David Pope and Oak Park trustees have drafted a list of ideal traits and skills they are looking for in a board member who would be appointed to serve a two-year term. The characteristics listed in the “job description” for the position range from an ability “to work effectively as part of a policy-level board” to past experience in “project-oriented environments.”

Though the list identifies an interest generally in someone who can “strengthen the diversity of experience and perspectives” of the board, Pope said Monday that the notion of diversity does extend more specifically to race and gender.

There is currently one African-American trustee, Martha Brock, serving on the board, and the remaining board members are white men.

“I’m not inclined to appoint another 40ish white male. I think that’s a universal feeling,” Pope said. “At the same time, there are many qualifications that are very important. It doesn’t come down to one factor or another.”

As president, Pope will be responsible for nominating a candidate to fill the trustee seat he vacated after his election as president. The nominee then must be approved by a majority of the board.

Pope said he’s hoping to settle on a candidate by the end of June. In addition to filling the vacancy as quickly as possible, Pope said he’s looking for someone who can also quickly get up to speed on issues facing the board.

To that end, someone who can in short order “achieve the level of familiarity necessary to function effectively” as a trustee, and someone who “ideally will have some history of service or involvement in Oak Park” are identified as desired qualifications. 

“The term is two years shorter than a full trustee term. We want someone who can contribute early on,” Pope said, adding that though experience in government is an advantage, participation in specific community or political organizations in Oak Park “isn’t a real driver behind the decision making.”

Pope said he’d like to have a full board in place before “goal setting” sessions begin, but that, at the same time, he’s “hoping to mover rather rapidly.”

Other ideal characteristics and qualifications for a candidate who would be appointed to a two-year term, as agreed upon by the president and board, include:

? “?A person of high integrity who will bring intelligence and commitment to the role, but also flexibility and a willingness to play different roles in different circumstances, based upon the collective needs of the board and the community.”

? “The candidate will be able to clearly articulate positions, and will be an active and capable listener.”

? “?An open-minded individual, willing to spend time to understand the positions of others (including those possessing perspectives that may differ from the candidate’s own). The candidate will have a demonstrated track record of achievement, and of getting things done.

? “The ideal candidate will be an independent thinker and will take positions on issues based on what he or she reasonably believes to be best for the community from a good policy-making perspective and without regard to political consideration or partisan affiliation.”

? “The ideal candidate will possess a strong understanding of budgeting and finance. He or she will also have direct experience or the capacity to easily grasp policy-level issues in the areas of planning and development.”

? “The ideal candidate will have had some exposure to performance measurement and evaluation, and ideally will have direct experience in evaluating program performance at a policy-level through some form of systematic evaluation process.”

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