By JEANNE POLISOTO
To vote or not to vote for William Coughlin, that is the question.
It is so hard to believe that there is a "branding" of prior errors that occurred more than 10 years ago being brought out a second time in an endorsement by the OBSERVER. If his behavior had been such a serious violation of women's honor, then, Mr. Coughlin would not have continued working for Chautauqua County. And yet, deleting a missing element of his excellent work, applauded by his boss, was clear when he continued to work diligently in the Public Defender's position for nine more years.
One thing that many people who accused and made judgments about Mr. Coughlin being "inappropriate" felt that his behavior related to anger. Having studied this area extensively at UB brings up the point that when professionals determine causal reasons for such and such behavior, they do not come to consensus. And yet, the personal/work-related opinions, biased (gossip) and amateur conjecture, provided the basis for indictment. Another suggestion could be that his anger may be related to frustration.
This possibility does not excuse his behavior, but it may not be person related. There are areas of societal conditioning of "inappropriate" comments about females, in general. The mud flaps on truckers' semis seem less than respectful, and yet, it goes without saying that it is tolerated. All the referencing about female body parts makes for comedic fodder for the television sitcoms. As a whole, the American society is guilty of perpetuating ill-mannered comments about females.
The repetition of the two OBSERVER articles lends itself to criticism. Where was the former assistant district attorney's statement who worked with Mr. Coughlin? Can people change and become better with life experiences? Does the past determine a person's future? Jim Baker could certainly speak on matters of error. With the wisdom of Alexander Pope, here are his thoughts: "To err is human; to forgive is divine" and "No one should be ashamed to admit they are wrong, which is saying, in other words, that they are wiser today than they were yesterday." How about those past 10 years of wisdom?
That certainly would make for a competent judge.
Jeanne Polisoto is a Forestville resident.