---- — To the editor:
As a longtime former resident of Lawrence who grew up there and at the ripe old age of 27 was lucky enough to become an alderman back in the 1970s, I’d like to think that I’ve at least earned the right to offer a bit of unsolicited advice. It’s time for Mayor Lantigua to go. It’s time to let the people of this still great city have a well earned respite from all the bad publicity, bad karma and melodrama.
You’ve had your day. You’ve had your say. Now it’s time to listen and let the city I know you must love start a new day. It was said that back in the old vaudeville days, that even when you felt that you had your best act in high gear, there was a stage manager with “the hook” who’d yank you off when the audience stopped laughing. Now is that time.
There are still more than a few of us who remember how the late and truly great John Joseph Buckley, at one time the longest serving mayor of any city in America except Daley in Chicago, could climb up on a stool at The British Club and proclaim without a doubt that he was “a proud mayor of a proud city” and few, if any, in the packed room would dare to believe that it wasn’t so.
Perhaps you may feel that you’ve done nothing wrong. Maybe “they” are out to get you. But at some point in time you have to concede, it’s not about you. It’s about the City and all it’s hard working, hard scrabble people. They deserve a mayor who is not about controversy but above controversy. At some point, even if you have done nothing “wrong” the time comes when leaving the stage is the only right thing to do.
Throughout history, the only thing uglier than the lust for power is the lust to remain in power. At some point you have to put the future of the city above all other considerations. This city does not need another long, protracted, recount marathon. What it needs is a new start which can only come with a new mayor. You may believe that it’s not your fault, but now, it is your obligation to let your city heal.
Perhaps nothing could be a more noble testament to your tenure as mayor as your leaving of it. And then we can all say that you did the right thing for all the right reasons. And that, I know, would make John Buckley truly proud.
Michael J. Early