Sunday, December 21, 2014

IVI-IPO questionnaire: Aldermanic priorities

Since most of the candidates started at the top of the questionnaire, I received a suggestion to start at the bottom.

104. What employment, if any, other than alderman, do you intend to hold?

Good thing IVI shortened the questionnaire.

Obviously this question applies to each individual candidate personally.

My assumption is that IVI is looking for commitments that aldermen won't be taking money from employers that creates a conflict of interest and--to a lesser extent--that the alderman will be available to do his job, not just drop by City Council to vote on Wednesday mornings.

105. How will you divide your time between your aldermanic duties and your other occupation? 

106. Please specify the minimum hours per week you will spend performing your aldermanic duties.  

The subtext: have you thought about what you are getting into?

107. Please describe your service office staffing plan, including the number of staff, full and part time, how you will pay for them, and the number of hours per week that your service office will be open.
Possible answer:

I have no plans for creative staffing at this time. I would like to use volunteers and interns (in compliance with federal (Department of Labor) guidelines) to both provide more services and to get more people engaged in government.

108. What services need improvement in your ward?  How will you achieve this?
I encourage you to include anything you've thought of.

I also have an idea about helping property owners with property tax appeals. This is based on my experience working for the Oak Park Township Assessor periodically since 2002. I will write a separate blog entry on this. 

109. What are your top priorities for the Ward?
 This is on you. Although, I have acquired a special hatred of bedbugs. 

110. How will you work with community groups and residents on City matters?
Possible answer:

"I will make them send a special forces captain (who looks like Martin Sheen) up the Chicago River to speak to me at my compound of campaign followers."

The more serious answer is that (I assume) IVI is looking for you to list some of the people in the community you will interact with and consult with.

Of course, you could give them names of people you respect. And some of the smarter people at IVI will probably recognize the validity of your choices if you explain why you respect the people in question. But it will give them a warm fuzzy feeling if you list people they know and respect.

I'm in my mid 40s. I can still say "mid 40s" at 47 years old, right? IVI people seem old to me. And their idea of who community leaders are... seems like a Rolodex of Lefties from the Harold Washington era at times.

So the ideal mix of who is good to list as influential will include some old guard names they know. If you know Timuel Black, list him. But include the mix of people you know and respect. Explain why you respect them and you should do fine.


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