Tom reading Green Eggs and Ham to a pre-school class. While Deborah shows the pictures in the book, Tom doesn't just read. He tells the story in props, costume and enthusiasm.
So, why support Tom Owens? That’s a fair question. The citizens of Woodbury probably have a wonderful problem – how to select a mayor from such a wide selection of nice looking candidates? Consider this:
- Long Term Resident. Deborah and I have lived in Woodbury since 1992 – 26 years. We raised our children here.
- 44 Years of Community Service. My community service started in 1974. Whether it is the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, the schools, church, our homeowner association, my industry, even the FBI, I am involved. Involved not for the last 2 years, 5 years, or even 10 years. 44 Years later, I am still at it.
- Education. Two undergraduate degrees and Executive MBA from University of St. Thomas.
- Employment Experience. After 7 years as a public employee (police officer) I went into big business - The St. Paul Companies. Over 17 years I was given more difficult assignments, moving to 6 different cities, finally coming to the Twin Cities. My last assignment with St. Paul was the director of a 110 person, $170 million operation. I "get" big business. After St. Paul I became self-employed. My family's well being became dependent on my ability to pay attention to the customer (the citizen) and to make good decisions (or I would be broke). I understand the small family business. I am customer focused and make solid decisions.
- Availability. Being self-employed, I have flexibility with my schedule. I can meet people day or night – and weekends are OK. My clients are always surprised when I answer my business phone at 8:00 in the evening and over weekends.
- Experience. I led a division with a $170 million budget and 110 people. I am not new to an organization the size of our city. I understand leadership, I understand management, and I understand they are not the same thing. I am a good manager. I am a better leader.
- Leadership. A leader is someone who sees the overall environment, can anticipate both changes and opportunities, then gets the right resources working to manage change and leverage opportunities for the community's benefit.
- The baby boomers are retiring. I see a need to be ready to make obvious changes, like more lighting, easier to read signs, more benches and ramps, and parking. What about intra-city transit to work with the inter-city transit? Our seniors will be more vulnerable to crime. We may need to reconsider crime and fire prevention services. How about senior isolation? Should we take the lead organizing the many community organizations in our city? Should we establish a senior center, where our seniors can socialize, learn about the hazards they face and how to deal with them, share their wisdom with our community, and meet their other unique needs?
- Immigration. Our senior population will grow, and so will our immigrant population. What will their needs be? How do we get that demographic engaged in our city?
- Water. Everyone knows our aquifer is showing signs of overuse. We are OK for now. What steps should we be taking to prevent a water shortage. Are our steps adequate? Who is watching?
These are the strengths I bring to you.
I am not asking for a donation. I am not asking you to join a mailing list. I ask for something much more precious: