I must respond to the Wednesday article “County leader guilty in DUI.” We all make mistakes. We all do things that we’d be mortified with if it went public. Most humans share this ground. Some slip by, some don’t. The difference between those two groups usually are the result of dumb luck. Because fouling up is so inherent to us all, the real test of what we are made of is how we handle the aftermath of our actions. Personal missteps are nothing new in Snohomish County government and courts. If you read the paper, you know what I mean. We’ve seen the gamut of responses, some so egregious that it makes our teeth grind.
This week we saw how a leader handles human error. He doesn’t try to throw his weight around and bully his way through. He doesn’t get cronies to find a loophole. He doesn’t blather and bluster, obfuscate and prevaricate. He, or she, sucks it up, faces the punishment, the embarrassment, the possible loss of esteem. That’s what a leader does. Some may say, “Right, a DUI is a horrible blot on a public official’s record.” Let he who is without sin cast the first stone, I say.
Councilman Brian Sullivan made me proud by handling his error like the man I know him to be. I look forward to his representation on the council. I hope some day to vote for him for County Executive, a position I know he would serve with his trademark decency and honesty. Americans treat a step backward as a momentum-builder on the drive forward. My very best to Sullivan as he uses this misstep as a new beginning in leading this community he has served so well in the past.
Bruce W. Burns