Tom Cofsky: The right balance for D200

Opinion: Letters To The Editor

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Four years ago, we wrote a letter to Wednesday Journal in support of Tom Cofsky's candidacy for the District 200 school board. We based our endorsement on our personal knowledge of Tom, a man of great integrity. As a three-decade resident of Oak Park and the father of five outstanding children who have all been students in District 97 and D200, Tom brought a deep commitment to maintaining the quality of Oak Park and River Forest High School for all students. 

In his successful career as vice president of manufacturing of Oil-Dri, he offered a much-needed business perspective, an understanding that fiscal responsibility must be balanced with investment in growth and innovation to ensure that OPRF, and ultimately our community, thrive for future generations. 

 Now in 2017, with four years of experience as a D200 school board member, Tom has shown that these very qualities, which made him such an outstanding candidate, have also made him an invaluable member of the board. He was instrumental in the district's plan to right-size its fund balance with $30 million in tax cuts while reserving $20 million for facilities improvements. He has also advocated for compensation discipline and structure for OPRF administrators. 

As a business leader who understands the necessity of strong leadership, he played an essential role in hiring a visionary new superintendent to lead the strategic plan of the district. Throughout his term, he supported students in many initiatives, including the 1:1 technology plan, assuring every student access to technology.

 As we look to the future of D200, we continue to believe that Tom Cofsky is the right person to serve as our representative to the board. He understands the need to execute the strategic plan of the district with clear, measurable goals. In addition, he is experienced in labor contract negotiations and we believe he will successfully address the need to attract and retain excellent staff while keeping a vigilant eye on long-term costs. With 75% of district costs going toward staff compensation, collective bargaining agreements will play a pivotal role in the district's financial future. 

Lastly, Tom has real-world experience building manufacturing plants, so he brings practical insight as the district wrestles with long-term facility needs. Please join us in voting for Tom Cofsky on April 4.

Janis Wiener and David Levy

Oak Park

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