I first met Jim Rankin after he had been selected to serve as our Fire Chief here in Arlington.
While visiting one day, I asked him to join our local Arlington Kiwanis Club; he enthusiastically joined our group and has been a hard working member ever since. He is currently our Vice President, and will assume the role of club president this next year. Last year, he co-chaired our committee for our participation in the Arlington Relay for Life. We ended up having 100 percent of our membership involved in the Relay. That doesn’t happen very often, but it did with Jim’s leadership. Incidentally, we raised over $4,000 for the event.
After giving more than 50 years of service to protecting our communities as a firefighter and Fire Chief, Jim decided to retire. His definition of retirement may be a little different from most of us. He said, “Great, now I can volunteer in our community more than I could when I was working.” He currently serves on the city of Arlington Civil Service Board.
Our community, like most in America, is facing a future filled with challenges like we haven’t seen for many years, if ever. Difficult choices have to be made, and complex problems are facing our community leaders at every turn. We need City Council members with proven leadership skills. We need Council members with the “steel” to make those decisions, and also have the wisdom to make wise ones.
I remember that in my youth I had believed I had most of the answers, and that most things were black and white, and that it should be easy to see the advantages and disadvantages to choosing one path over another. Come to find out over the years, it isn’t that easy. I’ve come to believe we need leaders who have as much experience as we can find. I believe we need leaders who have demonstrated over time their commitment to the well being of the community.
I know Jim Rankin is one of those leaders, and I’m going to be voting for him. I hope you will as well.