Saturday, July 28, 2007

Mea Culpa and Apologies

George Burns once said ‘The secret of a good sermon is to have a good beginning and a good ending; and to have the two as close together as possible’. That is also good advice for an apology.

So, ‘mea culpa’ to anyone who felt harmed by my –undelivered- promise of a blog on the subject of a certain established rumor. It was an unwise thing for me to have even mentioned that particular subject as I did. It was also unnecessary, because anyone could Google it to find, among other search results, a WIndy article in the March 30 2007 issue.

Because apologies really are better –and briefer- than explanations or excuses, I offer these to all who felt poorly served by what I wrote at the end of my second blog posting. The actual size of that readership is unknown and but really makes no difference, because if only one person was harmed, that’s one too many.

I have exchanged communications with two persons who called me to say my blog statement did not make them happy. That's more than enough for me, and I sincerely hope my apology was enough for both of them.

One was my friend, Don Keenan, who e-mailed me the following: [used with his permission]
Subject: Positive Campaigning
From: Don Keenan
Date: Fri, 27 July 2007 12:42:15 -0700

Dear John,

Someone just pointed out to me John Servais’ comments today on NwCitizen.US regarding a blog you recently started. I just tried and your blog appears unavailable for me to read at this time on the Internet, but John Servais’ comments indicate his belief that you were acting on behalf of my campaign, which is clearly not the case. What you do or say is certainly a matter of your own choice, but I’d like to reaffirm for the record my opposition to negative campaigning as stated on July 4th.

Here’s an excerpt from the e-mail I sent July 4th to you and over 100 others who are supporting my candidacy for whom I had e-mail addresses:

“Unfortunately we have seen the beginning of negative campaigning. Don’t be troubled. It’s likely to continue, but I hope you will join in my commitment to a positive campaign. I’ve worked on many campaigns and I’ve never seen personal attacks win. Voters want candidates to stick to issues and that’s what I plan to do. Believe me, it takes discipline not to respond, but in the end nobody benefits from participating in negative exchanges. I have a long record of public service and a positive vision for the future of Bellingham. I am proud of that service and desire to continue to be of service to the people of our community.”

I know anyone who serves in a high profile leadership position winds up being a ready target for criticism, but Bellingham has too much at stake to have this or any other campaign sidetracked by negativity.

Today’s Bellingham Herald has a positive letter to the editor from City Council member Gene Knutson supporting my candidacy for mayor. You also wrote a positive letter about me a couple of months ago. I appreciate support from city council members and others in the community who know my work as Deputy Administrator and I continue to ask that the focus remains positive throughout the campaign.


My next blog will be on an entirely different subject, to be determined. Until then, I’ve got other things to do.

Note: The ‘promised’ controversial blog was not posted, and it won’t be.