Andy Klein should not resign and he should take the reins as mayor. There is absolutely no defense for drinking and driving and we should hold our elected public officials to a higher standard. That being said, Andy is still the right person for the job.
If Andy did in fact drink and drive, he clearly made a very poor choice. However, at some point in all of our lives we make bad decisions. This includes me, you, our elected officials, CEOs, community leaders, moms and dads. It’s called being human. As long as sincere remorse is involved, no one else was injured and it is a first offense, I feel that I can forgive and move on.
The fact of the matter is that is that there is much more to this story. This was not a city councilman leaving a party or a bar with his buddies after having an evening of fun. Andy was returning from a day in which he saw one of his good friends, Mayor Omar Ahmad, laid to rest. A reason to drink and drive? No. Enough of an emotional impact to skew your ability to make clear decisions on that particular night? Possibly.
This unfortunate incident comes on the heels of a series very difficult and stressful decisions by the council. Over the last few months the council has cut city workers, Parks & Recreation services, the San Carlos Police Department and the Belmont-San Carlos Fire Department. Of course, the tragic loss of Mayor Ahmad came just one week after the decision to pursue a regionalization approach with Redwood City with regard to our fire services. My point? The enormity of what this council has had to endure recently goes well beyond what most councils in similar size towns ever have to deal with. It is not unreasonable to suspect that the culmination of these difficult decisions combined with the much more powerful impact of Mayor Ahmad’s sudden death hit Andy with even greater force on this particularly difficult day.
There have been more than a few demanding Andy Klein’s resignation. I hope those same individuals were part of the whopping 30% of the population that turned out to vote in the election that saw Andy become a councilman. I also hope they are prepared to offer another solution in the upcoming election. So lucrative and appealing is the San Carlos City Council position that all three city council members ran unopposed in the last election.
I have spoken with Andy enough over the last few years to know that he cares very deeply about San Carlos and he has done everything that he can to make San Carlos a better place. Whether you agree or disagree with his political views is irrelevant when it comes to this particular decision.
I read a comment earlier in the week from a mother wishing Andy would resign, as his alleged decision to drink and drive is not a good example for the youth of our community. In my opinion, the easy way out would be to resign. It takes far more courage to hold stand up publicly, admit your mistake and demonstrate to the citizens of San Carlos that their trust in you is valid. I think Andy deserves this chance.