To the Editor:
I am voting for Sheena Collum for Village President because she is the best qualified candidate. She embodies two qualities that I value: tangible vision and the ability to execute the vision.
Many letter writers have described Sheena’s spirit or passion for service. That is terrific. South Orange’s success is built on its volunteers. And through service one gains experience. The harder questions are, what is a candidate’s vision, has that vision and its accompanying values been articulated, and most importantly, can the candidate execute the vision?
A lot of folks who are long on spirit or passion are short on figuring out how to obtain grant monies, create alliances, overhaul outdated plans, enact meaningful ordinances, assess monetary problems, pass operating and capital budgets, resolve obstacles and conflicts, and build projects. It takes perseverance and patience and a willingness to endure a lot of protocol, tedium and setbacks, frankly. The folks who are simply passionate, particularly about a single or couple of issues, may flame out in due time, leaving the voters and taxpayers adrift. A four year term is a long time.
Beyond passion, I am more impressed with someone who knows how to put the pieces together—all of the pieces—from building relationships throughout all levels of government, including recognizing opportunities when they arise (and when they don’t exist), to pulling all aspects together to make a unified yet synergistic whole, in executing a vision. This is the real talent of an elected official, which voters often don’t see. It is the crucible of talent for governing well, not the glossy campaign brochure, or the number of coffee klatches, lawn signs, or Facebook page likes, which is merely the test of electability.
The prize is not in the winning. The prize is in the governing. Sheena Collum can and will govern well.
Janine G. Bauer
South Orange, NJ