I have so much to say about Eric Pilkington, being a retired Marine, Magna Cum Laude graduate, three sport athlete and highly regarded technologist and management consultant in his field.
This guy certainly knows how to win and more importantly, he knows how to get things done. He is a soft-spoken leader that listens first which is a valuable asset to any team. He also has a love for Roxbury that is unmatched. His credentials and experience are so extraordinary that I can't even list here so check his full bio on his Eric Pilkington for Roxbury BOE Facebook page.
I think we are very lucky this year to have a pool of four really great candidates...good people who genuinely care about our schools. I am thrilled that we will have three new faces on the board.
However, there are a few things that set Pilkington apart from the others. First of all, Eric has no ties with the teacher's union, therefore no conflict of interest which allows him to be part of the teacher's contract negotiation team, while Joe Bocchino, being a teacher, and Heather Champagne, being married to one, would need to recuse themselves from this process.
Although Bocchino and Champagne would be eligible to help with other contract negotiations, everyone knows from the last contract year that it's the teacher's contract that has the most impact on our students and our TAXES. As a management consultant, Eric runs such employment and contract negotiations regularly. This a crucial process that needs a fresh face with new ideas and new experiences to join the seasoned negotiators. It's not an easy task by any means, but Eric is willing and able to take on this responsibility to ensure the best outcome.
Secondly, Eric Pilkington is running as an independent and had no prior relationship with any current board members. He is not part of the ROXBURY CARE "dynasty" that has been the ruling class on the Board for many years. He ran his campaign by himself and owes no one anything. For years, I have been critical of the Board for pack voting and never having public discussion about their thoughts, feelings and concerns.
Eric is a free thinker and not afraid to challenge the establishment and status quo. Having a challenger on the Board will bring up the transparency and quality level of work done. Meanwhile, I know first-hand that Champagne and Colucci both have long-standing relationships and strong loyalty to Carol Scheneck, hopefully, they are able to put that aside and make decisions based on their own research and analysis and not give in to pressure against their own judgment.
Finally, having Pilkington on the Board as an independent would encourage more concerned unaffiliated citizens to speak up and participate in our local government. Many have felt that CARE has been intimidating in the past and felt discouraged to run or even speak at meetings. Let's end the Roxbury CARE dynasty and get Eric Pilkington on the board by voting for #3 on your ballot! Smart, thorough, caring leadership is what is needed.
NOTE: Many think that in the voting booth you have to vote for 3 candidates, but you don't. The instructions should be corrected to say "Choose up to 3". This is why the #1 position always has the edge, due to people trying to satisfy the "Choose 3" requirement which essentially dilutes their vote.
Please remember that you have the option to only vote for #3 for Eric if he is the only candidate you like and if you must click another button, let it be for #2 Heather Champagne, because she is a smart cookie.