I am very pleased with the three candidates that the Village Manager Association has put forward. I have the good fortune of knowing each candidate personally, and I am certain they will be assets to the village of Oak Park. I met Ray Johnson over nine years ago while working on a fundraiser for OPALGA. I met Jan Pate at a sidewalk caf where we discussed travel and foreign languages, and Jon Hale through his work with Forum Oak Park (ForOP). Each of these candidates has a great deal to offer Oak Park.

Ray Johnson has continually impressed me over the years. His civility at the board table is admirable. If anyone has watched channel 6, they know that this trustee does his homework. He is thoughtful, deliberative, and willing to listen to all citizens, even in the most difficult of situations. His votes are well thought out and reasoned. Ray deserves our support for a second term.

Jan Pate has the drive, talent and experience needed to tackle the problems facing our village. She has worked in local government before (Florence, S.C.) and is currently the development director of the local YMCA. Her communication skills are superior and the dedication she shows for her work is impressive. If she has the fortitude to do humanitarian work in a confusing place like Kosovo, I think I can trust her with Downtown Oak Park.

Jon Hale is one of the most thoughtful and studied residents in Oak Park. One of the founders of ForOP, a local group organized to study Oak Park issues and then make policy recommendations, a former member of the plan commission, and taught public policy analysis at the graduate level, Jon has demonstrated that he has the commitment for the demanding job of trustee. I know he understands this village and its issues. His sound decision-making and careful analysis are truly needed.

We are going to face some major choices in the next four years, so I urge you to find out more about these candidates. They are not hard to find. Go to a meeting, watch channel 6, pick up a phone, send an e-mail. This is a wonderful slate and they deserve our support. Kudos to the VMA selection committee for a job well done.

Joe Langley

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