While Sherri Lightner’s experience has been in neighborhoods, she also has a firm grasp of the bigger issues that the city faces today. Being a mechanical engineer has refined her ability to research issues, understand them and support fact-based solutions.
Last night I saw Sherri at a local community candidate forum for the first time. It reminded me of things that I take for granted. Sherri has been a resource in my community for many years — her almost encyclopedic knowledge of the local and city codes are legendary. What struck me last night is how she actively applies the same commitment in researching to citywide issues as well. She has always been someone who is committed to looking at original reports. What I saw last night was her ability to synthesize what she has learned and call up the information that is needed on a particular topic.
It reminds me of the old adage: “Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”
This was especially apparent in the discussion of “outsourcing.” While her opponents favor this plan, Sherri has a broader perspective on the issue and its potential impacts. She reminded the audience that “Civil Service” was established to overcome widespread corruption in prior government practice.
She also used an example of “outsourcing” gone wild in the cost of the Kroll report. The Kroll report started out being a project budgeted at $250,000, but ended up costing $20.3 million. That’s outsourcing that no one can afford!
These are two great example of Sherri’s wisdom: she recognizes that there is no magic answer and that just because something is different does not necessarily make it better — you may simply be changing one set of problems for a different, and potentially worse, set of consequences. Ask yourself, do we really need more outsourcing like the Kroll report expenditure?
Classic Sherri! I’m glad that others are getting a chance to get to know her and see what a thoughtful person she is. I only hope that you will take the chance to do so as well.