If experience were all that mattered, then I should have voted for the McCain/Palin ticket. Here are four things that matter more:

  1. Unencumbered — Anan Abu-Taleb is a “free agent” and, if elected, did it without the support of the VMA or similar groups.
  2. Entrepreneurial Empathy — Everyone wins if we can make Oak Park more hospitable to certain small business. Does our cumbersome process really lead to a better result?
  3. Dissatisfied — Oak Parkers are known for challenging assumptions. Satisfaction, long-term, can be unhealthy.
  4. Not just an outsider, the right kind of outsider — There are two types of outsiders on a board: The “devil’s advocate,” who can weaken a board if they can’t communicate their vision, and the “conductor,” who sees the unique gifts each board member, staff member and citizen brings and knows how to make beautiful music from a cacophony of voices.

The VMA — and Wednesday Journal — vet candidates based on who has the right answers. I vote for the guy with the right questions.

Steve Bankes

Oak Park

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