If you could only have one quality to run for office on, what should it be?
I was in the dark on this question for a while. Fortunately I was able to get some insight when I got an opportunity to hear Fishers Town Council President Scott Faultless speak a few days ago. After a wide-ranging lecture that touched on the day-to-day operations of local government, the state of the national political system, the advantages of a town vs. city form of government (a subject deep enough to deserve its own post entirely), and the fiscal strength of a frugal Town Council, Mr. Faultless took some time to answer questions from listeners.
When I asked him what was the single most important quality for any office-holder was, the 18-year councilman immediately exclaimed, “Honesty. Brutal Honesty.”
Mr. Faultless has certainly lived up to his own advice. He was very open about both the successes and failures of the Fishers Town Council. He also proved to be pretty frank during the recent Geist annexation fiasco. Throughout his entire career, he’s focused on putting the Town of Fishers on a sound fiscal footing, even when it wasn’t the most popular thing to do – a strategy that’s now paying some serious dividends. Nevertheless, Mr. Faultless “[is still] always the guy who’s getting the beanbag thrown at him” for being a straight-talker.
But if brutal honesty is the most important quality in an officeholder, I don’t really feel too discouraged about politics. After all, beanbags don’t hurt that much!