“Charge a man with one misdemeanor, and all his peccadilloes are raked up and assorted before him.” -Herman Melville-
Mason County Sheriff’s Deputy Danielle Rickards arrested Port of Shelton Commissioner Jack Miles for DUI early Sunday morning, 2-27-11. The police report noted Jack Miles blew a field breathalyzer reading of 0.184, over double the legal (0.080) limit. The deputy’s report also noted plainly visible skid marks crossing the oncoming lane ending at the Oldsmobile resting over the embankment which Jack admitted he’d been driving. Commissioner Miles is insulin dependent (diabetic) and was chewing gum according to Deputy Rickards. She reported smelling a moderate amount of alcohol from Mr. Miles.
Commissioner Miles released a statement expressing confidence he would be exonerated, and asking residents to allow full Due Process before reaching any final conclusions about the incident. Much of that may hinge on symptoms associated with diabetes and the side effects of medication to treat it.
Regardless of the outcome, yours truly is compelled to ask certain material questions regarding Commissioner Miles’ bid for reelection to the Port of Sheldon board:
Should the community support Jack in his bid for reelection for having stood by it in resisting the Adage BioMassacre proposal, or condemn him for putting the public at risk while driving under the influence? Are the two positions incompatible? Does the community have a better alternative at this time? Is Dick Taylor a better alternative to Jack?
Perhaps the last question is the easiest to field. Currently, Dick Taylor is the ONLY alternative to Jack, and will be unless someone else decides to enter the race. Mr. Taylor is eagerly supported by Commissioner Jay Hupp (and associates) though reveals a distinct lack of perspicacity about current Port of Shelton controversies when questioned. Although Dick Taylor, a local business owner, has had prior experience as an elected official, he seems decidedly uninformed about what many in the community have taken time to learn regarding how their Port is being run and its inevitable impact on residents. Mr. Taylor is beyond the age most folks look to for retirement. During a recent interview, he seemed tired and unfocused. His knee-jerk support of Adage is likely the primary basis for the encouragement he’s received from Jay Hupp & associates.
The first two questions are more difficult. Many regard Bill Clinton as having done a credible job as US President despite his indiscretions. JFK remains beloved and the largest number of applications for the Peace Corps followed the day of his assassination. Dr. Martin Luther King is known to have been flawed as a philanderer. Ghandi was said to have been a better father to his country than his family. Mayor Barry was reelected to office despite the sting operation conducted against him in a Washington, D.C. hotel room. Governor Lowery once admitted to a packed room of his constituents that he’d been getting into trouble since he was a kid and being governor hadn’t relieved him of his predisposition. Attendees appeared to forgive and warm to him instantly.
Yes! Jack remains able and committed to his love for this community and its residents. Few local officials are in a position to cast the first stone. Jack has demonstrated his desire to lock arms with citizens who have been stonewalled, marginalized, insulted, sneered at, labeled, and ignored by their other local officials. Commissioner Miles has been a loyal friend to the community in its hour of need when no other official would stand beside us.
Jack isn’t perfect. No politician is. There are no ‘perfect’ politicians; nor are there any ‘perfect’ voters! He is flawed. He is human. But he has been there, for us, when it counted. He deserves our support and to be reelected…not so much for his sake, but for ours–especially ours. His kind of courage doesn’t come along every day. And he won’t be the last official in our district to make a mistake. But we’d be foolish to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Remember that when you consider who you want representing you on the Port of Shelton board.