Is the trustee you are voting for qualified? If yes, will the trustee have the time to do the job right?

As an Oak Park voter who reads these pages weekly, it seems that most of our village trustee candidates are intelligent, capable people who can learn the job, listen to their constituents, and make educated votes. Some have more experience with government and some have less. Some may take a long time to make a decision and some may take less time. Some may like a $15 million Colt building and some may not. Some may look at issues with fresh eyes un-tinted by the past and some may use their experience-acquired tint to look at the issues with unchanging eyes. Despite these differences, I am confident that each candidate cares deeply about our village and its people.

However, when you make your decision on which candidates should have your vote, you should consider how much time each candidate has to devote to being a trustee. An incredibly bright and experienced person can make a really poor and thoughtless decision if he or she has no time to devote to an issue. Does the trustee you are voting for have a high-powered day job? Are they over-extended in other parts of their lives? Do they really have the time, passion and energy to be a good trustee?

My wife, Barbara Dolan, is a candidate for trustee with the New Leadership ’07 Party. We have discovered several things during the past several months while she’s been out campaigning–namely, that she has the time, passion, and energy to be a good trustee.

First, since Barbara is a newcomer to Oak Park politics, she has a lot of new and fresh ideas that could help to further invigorate our village. I believe that some of the other more “experienced” candidates don’t have this advantage since they have been enmeshed in governmental issues for way too long and have trouble seeing the forest for the trees.

Second, her marketing program at the elder law firm I run has been so successful that I only need her in the office one day per week (or at least until I can double my staff to handle all the business). This means she has time to devote to being a trustee.

Third, I am able to give her the support and time away from work and home that she will need to be a good trustee. Our two boys, our dog Fido, and I have forged a much closer bond in the evenings now. We have routine Pokemon battles (dad loses a lot and Fido eats the cards), read Dr. Seuss and Geronimo Stilton (over and over), play really annoying computer games (at least annoying to mom), and roughhouse in the living room, only destroying it a little in the process.

Please consider your candidate’s time and availability when making your choice and then vote for my wife, Barbara Dolan (or the evening house destruction may have to come to an end).

Ben Neiburger, Oak Park

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