Is it really that difficult to extend an apology? Apparently it is for Naperville councilwoman Patty Gustin. Could it be she has no political aspirations? If there was ever a political candidate looking to commit political suicide, other than Democratic presidential candidate Gary Hart in 1988, it’s Patty Gustin.
Gustin has been prone to digging herself into holes, and not wanting to throw away the shovel. It happened again in March when she made a ‘character attack’ against two other council members, Judy Brodhead and Benny White, during a council meeting.
During discussion, to support recreational marijuana sales in Naperville, Gustin said, “I’m kind of surprised I have two teachers sitting next to me that are promoting recreational marijuana distribution”. Both Brodhead and White were offended by her remark, and said so during the meeting. Mayor Steve Chirico met with Gustin afterward and gave her the opportunity to publicly apologize to Brodhead and White during the next meeting, but no apology was extended, leaving no choice for the mayor other than to conclude that her comments were intended and a violation of council rules.
Mayor Chirico concluded, by diagramming what an effective apology format looks like, from which we can all benefit:
- Express remorse
- Saying I’m sorry
- Doing so in a timely manner
- Taking responsibility
- Make amends to make things right
- Promise it won’t happen again
Gustin chose a different route.