Thompson knows government

Opinion: Letters To The Editor

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter

Wednesday Journal's Oak Park trustee endorsements are the candidates they argue are the top three individuals. But they don't consider which set of candidates would make the best team. By way of comparison, a coach putting together a basketball team would not select the five best athletes, but that combination of players whose combined skills are most likely to win games.

One of the things that the board would still lack is anyone with professional expertise in managing local governments. The new board would remain a group of bright and dedicated amateurs. If we want a board that makes the optimal decisions for effective and efficient governance, it needs someone who has the knowledge and experience to assist it in doing so. That person is undoubtedly James Thompson.

I know and have worked with James Thompson for many years. At present, he is a professor in the Public Administration Department of the UIC College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs, and served as department head for five years. Jim has extensive practical experience, having worked for 15 years in city and county government before returning to earn a PhD in public administration at Syracuse University (which has the top program in the nation). His practical experience and education make him unmatched in his ability to analyze local government revenues, costs and budgets, as well as how to make local services as productive as possible.

In addition, he would be unmatched in his skill in analyzing our community and surrounding areas to inform trustee decisions about business development and how to optimize revenue from it. He's very familiar with the types of problems and successful solutions employed by other local communities, since he teaches the capstone Master of Public Administration course in which the students consult with Chicago area governments.

I personally feel that James Thompson is head and shoulders above all other Oak Park trustee candidates.

But even if you don't agree that he is the very best, I do hope you will agree that as part of the trustee team he will help the trustees deal with the myriad of problems they will face in coming years. So I sincerely hope whoever else you vote for, one of your three votes will go to James Thompson. 

Darold Barnum

Oak Park

Love the Journal?

Become our partner in independent community journalism

Thanks for turning to Wednesday Journal and We love our thousands of digital-only readers. Now though we're asking you to partner up in paying for our reporters and photographers who report this news. It had to happen, right?

On the plus side, we're giving you a simple way, and a better reason, to join in. We're now a non-profit -- Growing Community Media -- so your donation is tax deductible. And signing up for a monthly donation, or making a one-time donation, is fast and easy.

No threats from us. The news will be here. No paywalls or article countdowns. We're counting on an exquisite mix of civic enlightenment and mild shaming. Sort of like public radio.

Claim your bragging rights. Become a digital member.

Donate Now

Reader Comments

No Comments - Add Your Comment

Note: This page requires you to login with Facebook to comment.

Comment Policy

Facebook Connect

Answer Book 2019

To view the full print edition of the Wednesday Journal 2019 Answer Book, please click here.

Quick Links

Sign-up to get the latest news updates for Oak Park and River Forest.

MultimediaContact us
Submit Letter To The Editor
Place a Classified Ad

Classified Ad