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To the editor: One final letter to you, Mr. Gilbert:
The other day, I declined to sign a petition for your removal as a school board member that was being circulated by a concerned parent who hopes it will have an effect on you or ultimately the attorney general.
Though I agree that you should resign, something gave me pause. The next day the Beacon headline basically echoed Ms. Danka’s position (organizer of the petition).
She stated that you are a person children should look up to and that you are not above the law because you are a school board member.
Board member Hobbs followed that up by echoing the board’s view and stating that board members are held to a higher standard and, as leaders, the public demands more of us. I guess that is why I chose not to sign the petition.
Everything that was stated brought back immediate memories of exactly 10 years ago, January 1998. The issue then did not involve a local school board member. It was the President of the United States.
Like you, he was a married man with a family (the First Family). Certainly he was a leader children should look up to and try to emulate far more than a local school board member.
Am I about to compare you, Mr. Gilbert, to President Clinton? No. Actually, from what I know regarding the two of you, morally and ethically, I hold you in much higher regard. You are both married with a family.
He has a record of infidelity that followed him into the White House. You told the truth and admitted to sexual relations with a woman of your generation.
He lied, not to just Brunswick County, but the entire world knowing full well that his lie would destroy the career and reputation of someone who was just starting out and barely older than his daughter.
After evidence forced him to admit his guilt, the ripple effect of his sexual episodes reached and impacted upon our youth and their concept of just what is the proper behavior that Ms. Danka, the board and our community want so much to instill.
After the Lewinsky episode and the notoriety that followed, historians agree that Mr. Clinton was no longer viable.
It was during those final two years of his administration that Osama Bin Laden expanded his base; The USS Cole was attacked, and the terrorists that destroyed the World Trade Center were taking flying lessons in Florida.
Had Clinton taken the high road and resigned before his impeachment and had Vice President Gore taken over then, who knows?
Mr. Gilbert, if ever there was a time for you to be what you pretend to be, now is that time.
Like President Clinton, you must know that you are no longer viable and are causing disharmony and gridlock in our community. I would like to write, “You’re a better man than I am, Gunga Din,” because I believe you sincerely are.
There is a road less traveled that you know you should take. Right or wrong is irrelevant. At this point in time, Mr. Gilbert, you can continue to serve our community well but as a private citizen.