Letter to the Editor | Candidates who tick all the boxes

For City Council, Betsy Andersen, Jennifer Long, and Tom Ramsay; and for School Board, Ruchi Medhekar and Lindsay Thomasson have what it takes, writes current Board of Education member Amal Smith.

We live in a town with a wealth of talent and we are very lucky to have people who want to step up and volunteer for important civic positions.

The work is hard. These volunteers have to listen respectfully to myriad opinions, work in partnership with many different stakeholders, pay careful attention to the regulatory landscape, and, ultimately, think holistically to make a lot of decisions that range from routine to especially thorny.

I’ve done a lot of hiring in my career and there are four criteria I look for to make a successful hire: relevant work experience, capacity to learn, ability to be collegial and collaborative, and no bullies or creeps (see the Robert Sutton book for the more colorful reference).

I use this same list when I vote. For me, the candidates who score highest in all my criteria are: Betsy Andersen, Jennifer Long, and Tom Ramsay for city council; and Ruchi Medhekar and Lindsay Thomasson for school board.

My husband and I have been in Piedmont for almost 25 years and I’m about to end my tenure on the school board after nine years. I know these candidates because I’ve worked with them or have watched them at work. To a person, they are smart, insightful, measured, respectful, and collaborative. They have significant skills from their professional and volunteer work that will serve us. They are thoughtful servant leaders who will ask good questions and will seek to find the best solutions given the many competing interests/viewpoints and the complex regulatory landscape.

These candidates are who I would like to see lead us in the next four years, who will honor the work and responsibility and will be respectful of the offices and staff who support these roles. I hope you will join me in voting for them.

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