The following letter was received in response to Walter Brooks' editorial entitled, "Should Commissioner Sheila Lyons resign after OUI arrest?", posted on 11/27/12.
To the Editor:
I strongly disagree with your editorial calling for Commissioner Sheila Lyons to resign because of the OUI incident last week.
Was drinking too much for safe and legal driving dumb? Of course it was.
But in assessing Lyons' suitability for office, your editorial holds her up to an "ideal society." We all aspire to the ideal, but we are human, and we make mistakes. This is true for public officials as much as any of us. One transgression, albeit a serious one but unrelated to her public service, ought not disqualify Lyons from continuing to serve.
The resignation call ignores the incredible dedication, competence, and service she demonstrated in her first term. If it is character you are looking for, perhaps you and her constituents should consider her immediate acknowledgement that she had messed up and would face the consequences of the justice system, and her statement of regret for her actions.
That alone separates her from many public figures who run into problems and who try to find the angle they can use to escape responsibility, or use weasel words to minimize a situation. I also believe her outstanding character is shown by how she has behaved in the job she was elected to do. Notwithstanding a salary that assumes part- time service, for most of her first four years Lyons devoted full time efforts to improve the lives of Cape Cod citizens. In the process she has transformed the position and elevated the County government's prestige and usefulness to our various towns. It is this dedication and unique public service spirit that led me to accept Sheila's request to be treasurer for her campaign, something I had never done before.
Lyons' exemplary service to the community has earned her another chance, not just for her, but for us as well.