By ED BIRNBAUM
The three qualifications for County Council candidates listed in Aaron Walker’s May 7th letter to the LA Daily Post, i.e., “Empathy, Integrity, and Listening”, (link) are indeed important, but equally important is having a record that demonstrates leadership skills and good judgement.
Whether the candidate has held a leadership position at LANL, or has had experience running a small business or managing an organization with multiple employees, individuals with these kind of backgrounds will have had to have made frequent personnel and budget decisions, as well as decisions that impacted the success of their business unit or organization.
It should be clear to all, that at some point, after Councilors have listened to County staff and the Public, each Councilor must make a decision, i.e., to vote for or against allocating funds for a particular purpose, or to modify the rules that govern the County that impact all residents.
Making the best decision for the County as a whole requires the ability to evaluate all the pluses and minuses associated with each decision in a fair manner, together with an understanding of the budget constraints present. Without a background of appropriate experience, we would have little evidence as to whether or not a candidate is appropriately prepared for this challenging position.
I for one don’t want anyone on Council who comes to the job with little or no experience in making hard decisions, a task that all Councilors face. From my perspective, it’s not a good place to “learn on the job”.