Sheboygan Mayor Bob Ryan admitted at Monday night's city council meeting that he had suffered a setback in his efforts to fight his alcoholism. The Mayor said, "I was out in the city of Sheboygan, I was at drinking establishments and I was drinking. I know that the rumors are swirling that I was out, and they are true. I admit it." The Mayor said it happened when his brother came to town recently and they went out. He added that he's sober 99 percent of the time and it doesn't impede his ability to do his job.
Certainly the citizens of Sheboygan are going to be talking about this in the days to come and everyone has an opinion. But I would just like to give the Mayor some credit. Nowadays the knee-jerk reaction by public figures is to deny. We've seen it time and again by the likes of politicians, athletes and entertainers. Just off the top of my head I think of Michael Vick, Tiger Woods, John Edwards and Bill Clinton. There are countless others. They deny, deny, deny, until the truth comes out and they're forced to admit that they did engage in the rumored activity. They come off looking like nothing more than selfish liars and, ultimately, lose the trust and respect of virtually everyone.
I've often said that we are a forgiving country. If you screwed up, admit it, and people will forgive you. And in the long run you'll be respected for coming clean. I give kudos to Mayor Ryan for admitting he messed up. And in the end, hopefully, he'll be successful in his fight against alcohol.