Support for County Commissioner accused of OUI outweights denunciation

Readers weigh in

Editor's Note: The following letters were 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'm writing to express my disagreement with the editorial requesting the resignation of County Commissioner Sheila Lyons for her recent arrest and charges for driving while under the influence.

Although I acknowledge the seriousness of the act, I think it is a mistake that comes down to momentary misjudgment and not one that should be considered consistent character flaw nor one that would affect the quality of the work she is doing as our County Commissioner.

I admire and respect  Sheila Lyons. She has done an incredible job in her elected position and I believe we have all benefited from her tireless commitment to improving life for us on Cape Cod.

The fact that she responded to the incident with an immediate acknowledgement of regret and wrongdoing speaks highly of her character and her courage. I believe she deserves our support and a second chance.

Joy Cuming
Orleans, MA


To the Editor:

After reading the articles about Barnstable County Commissioner Sheila Lyons' arrest for driving drunk, and some ridiculous and absurd comments by Ron Beaty, in support of Commissioner Lyons, my only question would be: Do they have a four drink minimum at these phony Barnstable County Commission meetings, and more importantly, why we even have a Barnstable County Commission?

It seems to be nothing but a haven for boozy, whack-job political “wanabees” who couldn’t otherwise get elected Dog-catcher.

Ms. Lyons should resign IMMEDIATELY and the citizens of Barnstable County should take a very hard look at the Commission and ask if the Barnstable County Commission brings ANY added value to us, and if it is, as I believe, time to abolish it.

William Doherty
Centerville, MA

Editor's note: Mr. Doherty is of no relation to Barnstable County Commissioner William Doherty.


Dear Editor,

Your November 27th editorial concerning County Commissioner Shelia Lyons sets a very high standard for public behavior. I believe that she is acting in a responsible manner. Sheila has owned up to her mistake and taken responsibility for her actions.

Lyons taking ownership of her mistake is much more responsible than the owner of your newspaper, Mr. Rupert Murdoch, who has yet to acknowledge his crimes. Murdoch is responsible for illegal wiretapping, email hacking,  and unethical journalism.  

Shelia Lyons is a hard working public official who I hope will continue to serve us in the future.

Richard Courtney
Truro, MA

Editor's note: is not owned by Rupert Murdoch. Murdoch's company News Corp. is the parent company of Dow Jones which owns the Cape Cod Times.


To the Editor:

First, in response to the recent question posed by various parties across the Cape “Should Commissioner Sheila Lyons Resign after her OUI arrest?”  No, she should not resign. Furthermore, in reply to several direct inquiries I’ve received to comment about the recent County Commissioner Sheila Lyons drunk driving episode, I only wish to say that it is unfortunate that it has happened to both Ms. Lyons as well as her constituents. My sincere emotional support and heart-felt prayers go out to Commissioner Lyons and her family during this difficult time.

Additionally, to paraphrase an applicable quote by philosopher Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche: “What does not destroy us, makes us stronger.” That will hopefully also be the affirmative outcome from this daunting experience for both County Commissioner Lyons individually, as well the Cape Cod community as a whole. They say that we all live and learn which seems to also apply in this instance as well.

Though I may have been one of the more sharply focused and outspoken critics of Ms. Lyons and the other county commissioners in the past, I wish to nonetheless express my sincere empathy and support of Commissioner Lyons during this difficult period. She deserves the opportunity to overcome this adversity and to get on with both her personal life as well as with the people’s business in the days and months ahead. We all have a number of formidable Cape-wide public policy challenges which must be forthrightly addressed and resolved. If we do not allow Commissioner Lyons to do what she needs to do to overcome this unexpected legal dilemma, then the entire Cape Cod Community may likely suffer as a consequence.

Commissioner Lyons was recently re-elected as one of our regional government leaders to help respond to the collective community challenges ahead, so along with the rest of the Cape community, it is only appropriate that I should also actively back up and support Ms. Lyons and her colleagues to help facilitate our common public goals.

Furthermore, like the Commissioner Sheila Lyons OUI Arrest incident on November 20th of this year, Montgomery County (Ohio) Commissioner Debbie Lieberman was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) on or about July 27, 2012. Several months later, County Commissioner Lieberman successfully ran for re-election with the highest number of votes received in that particular race (among four candidates). If the residents and voters of Montgomery County, Ohio can be so magnanimous and forgiving of their regional government leaders, then so should the voters and residents of Barnstable County, Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

Barnstable County Commissioner Sheila Lyons made a mistake. Just like all of us, she is human and needs to be given the opportunity to overcome this adversity and do the job that she was elected to do. As Americans, it is the right thing for us to do, both in Montgomery County, Ohio as well as Barnstable County, Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

Finally, once again, no, Sheila should not resign. Those who insist on calling for such an uncalled for course of action will find they must contend with some rather surprising sources coming to her defense, including this native-born Taurean bull. With that said, I would like to wish everyone a happy and joyous holiday season.

Ron Beaty
West Barnstable, MA welcomes thoughtful comments and the varied opinions of our readers. We are in no way obligated to post or allow comments that our moderators deem inappropriate. We reserve the right to delete comments we perceive as profane, vulgar, threatening, offensive, racially-biased, homophobic, slanderous, hateful or just plain rude. Commenters may not attack or insult other commenters, readers or writers. Commenters who persist in posting inappropriate comments will be banned from commenting on