This was a tough one folks.
First, I have to tip my hat to the folks who, despite suffering the slings and arrows of occasional outrageous fortune, have decided to run one more time. Then I have to offer a hearty pat on the back to those newcomers who selflessly offered their expertise and time in the face of one of the most thankless jobs on the planet.
Mark Grosso – Through quiet and determined leadership, he’s the board member most responsible for that body’s shift to a more fiscally conservative position. His deft handling of the teacher contract negotiations should be rewarded.
Lastly, his performance at the Patch/TaxFACTS forum was superb. In a situation where the sitting school board president has nothing to gain and everything to lose, Grosso still managed to rise above the rest. Pay heed you folks with political ambitions.
Bill Wilson – This one was a tough choice. Some folks might say 12 years is enough for any board member (me included) and it took him awhile to see the fiscal light, but I believe he did see it. Again, he was instrumental in the aforementioned contract negotiations and that alone should earn him another shot.
Dan Garrett – A school board is just like a soccer team. It requires players with certain strengths and, to win, those strengths have to compliment each other. Not only do I think Dan will work well with the current group, but in today’s stressful economic environment, a little more financial expertise couldn’t hurt.
But what really influenced me on this one was Dan’s effort to reach out to me.
I know what you’re thinking. “Stroke the crazy columnist’s ego and he’ll fold at your feet.” Wrong! I’m no Denise Crosby or, God forbid, Brenda Schory. Anyone who chooses to run for public office should be persistently proactive in getting their message out. And if they manage to do that effectively during their campaign, then they’re that much more likely to succeed when elected.
Dave Lamb – Again, some of the others were so close I went back and forth on this one too. But his debate performance was rock solid, he used a bit of humor which bodes well for pressure situations, and I think this board will benefit from his financial acumen.
If I could give an honorable mention, I’d give it to Jeff DiOrio who, with a more carefully defined message, certainly deserves our future consideration.
So that’s it for Geneva! Later in the week, St. Charles!