Beaumont Mayor Becky Ames has asked residents of the Southeast Texas city she governs for forgiveness. Why? She got caught getting a nail treatment in a salon, in violation of the order she issued to residents to stay away from such businesses during the coronavirus pandemic.
Ames’ letter of apology was forthright and, I believe, sincere.
But … this thought occurred to my wife this morning at the breakfast table and I want to share it here.
You see, Ames might be prosecuted by the Jefferson County district attorney’s office for violating the order. The maximum fine if she is convicted is $1,000. I already have said in an earlier post that Ames ought to be pay the fine if the DA, Bob Wortham, determines sufficient cause for prosecution and conviction.
Ames ought to pony up the dough anyway, if she isn’t prosecuted, and contribute at least a thousand bucks to a worthwhile charity in Beaumont. Hmm, who or what might get such a donation? Food banks? A retirement center? Emergency medical services providers? The Beaumont police or fire departments? A service employee union office?
Mayor Ames’ request for forgiveness from her constituents would be honored in full, my wife and I happen to believe, were she to take a proactive stance … even if local authorities decide against slapping her on the wrist with a fine. She might even consider doing so in addition to the wrist-slap sentence.
Voters can be forgiving if their elected leaders demonstrate true contrition.