Tualatin resident George Vigileos discusses who he will vote for in the Nov. 6 City Council race.

Tualatin has undergone many changes over the years, and in my opinion, Jan Giunta is the right person for City Council for where we, as a city of over 26,000 people, are today. She’s lived here for over 20 years and has seen most of those changes firsthand.

As a mother and a grandmother, Jan can understand the challenges, issues and needs of not only families with children, but of all residents. Jan will be an outstanding council member for every one of us because she is passionate about making sure each of us is fairly heard, represented and dealt with openly and honestly.

I have known Jan Giunta as a neighbor for several years, but have come to know her well only in the last three or four years, when my wife and I began working and collaborating with her on several community issues of mutual interest. I quickly came to appreciate Jan’s sense of fair play, patience, work ethic and her ability to set clear and challenging goals, producing achievements in business and civic undertakings any council member would be proud to have on their resume.

As a real estate professional, Jan gained a great deal of perspective and appreciation for dealing with the challenges in transacting business in and with the city of Tualatin. One of her more recognizable business successes was the development of a commercial property she owned on the Tualatin Commons. This and similar experiences have strengthened her understanding and appreciation for supportive and reasonable policies to attract and retain honest businesses to thrive in Tualatin.

Prior to her career in real estate and while raising her children in Utah, Jan had worked in the general and special education fields, moving her to pursue a master’s degree in education, subsequently participating in some groundbreaking pilot programs. The outcomes of these programs were quite ––successful and resulted in a nationwide implementation of the program models. She remains strongly drawn to and concerned about all of the challenges in providing a healthy and safe home, community and educational environment for our children and grandchildren.

Despite her breadth of experience and interests, Jan never forgets that she is also just a resident of Tualatin, nor that she is only one citizen among thousands of other citizens in this fine town. Nor does she forget that we each focus on different interests, concerns, frustrations and benefits associated with the city of Tualatin’s services, resources and organizational culture.

This is how I differentiate Jan from other aspiring candidates for elected office in our community. She asks a few key questions:

n Beyond election season, are citizens remaining engaged with the goings-on of our government?  

n Is the important information getting out to the public, and is the public, in fact, becoming more informed?

n Are we getting a good picture of how people feel on different issues?

n For any significant issues under consideration, does the benefit to the general public truly outweigh any negative impact to smaller segments of the community that are more immediately impacted (e.g., specific businesses or neighborhoods)?

n What is the best way to answer these questions as a leader and elected representative, rather than for my benefit only?

Such questions demonstrate how she sees democracy in local government; that is, how democracy should work and remain robust.

This approach is not for the politician with a pre-defined agenda or a rigid ideology. Nor is it for a candidate who has, at best, only the weakest resolve to serve their constituents. But this is how Jan does it.

And If our council members attend to the city’s business in this manner, I do not see how I could be represented any better.

Finally, I would like to take advantage of just a little space to throw in a well-deserved and overdue plug for this energetic, generous and courageous candidate. From the very start, Jan has been at the heart of the entire initiative to launch a CIO program in Tualatin. Certainly, going back months and even years, several individuals have submitted a variety of ideas, designs and opinions; and many have participated in and contributed important pieces throughout the entire CIO undertaking. But from start to finish, Jan Giunta was the sole constant presence and point person to launch this program, to arouse and bring people together, to listen, to mediate, and finally to coalesce the forces and voices from all advocates, antagonists and contributors so that this city now has a robust CIO organization and program.

This is Jan’s way of working, and, for me, that is the best value I can get for my vote. Please vote with me to seat Jan Giunta in our City Council.

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