Building consensus to move the village forward

Opinion: Columns

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By Jim Taglia

Candidate One View

I'm Jim Taglia, and I'm running for village trustee because forward thinking and consensus building are essential to successful decision-making by the village board. I bring these skills to the board table and deploy them in every decision I make on behalf of the residents of Oak Park.

As elected officials, we can learn from the past and respect it, but we can't change it. Our work has to be about the future of our village and how to improve it. This means strengthening regulations on electronic cigarettes to protect our children. It means advancing quality affordable-housing projects. And, of course, it means driving budget discipline to relieve the increasing burden on the taxpayer. As a public servant, ensuring a better future for our community is what drives me.

Of course, as a village trustee, I have one vote among seven co-equal votes. So I work constantly to build consensus among staff, board members and stakeholders. For example last year, staff proposed a special events ordinance that local businesses said was expensive and onerous. I worked with staff to craft a solution and discussed it with each trustee. The end result was an ordinance that trustees, staff and the business community agreed was fair for all, and it passed unanimously.

Sitting trustees, and candidates for the position, understandably, bring to the job their passion for certain causes. I admire their advocacy, but a seven-member board needs someone with the ability to reconcile conflicting needs and to lead the board to compromise in an effort to serve all of Oak Park. That's what I do. It means some will not be happy with me. But making a policy decision is not about advancing my personal beliefs. Rather, it is advancing what I believe to be in the interest of the community as a whole. I always strive to do just that by listening to all stakeholders and building consensus to achieve the fairest result we can.

My leadership skills, along with my experience as a business owner and CPA, my life-long residency, and my love for the community, have prepared me to be a trustee who can get things done and move our village forward.

I would be honored to receive your vote on April 2 for one of the three open seats on the board, and I pledge to continue to represent you with all of my ability.

James "Jim" Taglia is a current village trustee and candidate for election to another term in the April 2 election. He is a lifelong Oak Park resident.

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