By Michael S. Patterson
I write today in defense of Osceola Water Department Superintendent Brandon Patterson, who is also my nephew. You know, there is a fine line between humiliation and just plain mean-spirited persecution.
There is nothing wrong with a little humiliation from time to time, it helps to keep us honest and reminds us all that we are only human.
In Brandon's case, although it is a little difficult to watch, perhaps a good, old-fashioned public humiliation might prove to be just what the doctor ordered.
By all accounts, Brandon has done an outstanding job in his roll as water superintendent. He has updated and streamlined the daily operations of the water department, as well as building a dependable team of employees who now successfully perform many tasks and repairs that in the past had to be contracted to outside sources.
Through their daily efforts, Brandon and his team have saved the city, taxpayers and water customers literally thousands of dollars.
Unfortunately, like many others, Brandon is also tasked with taming and controlling the demon of alcoholism. This is a daily companion for Brandon, and until the recent incident, which resulted in a DUI, he had held a firm control over the beast.
It only goes to show that with any addiction, the sufferer can never relax their vigilance over the disease.
In response to Brandon's DUI, the water board has handed down some tough and multilayered sanctions, which will continue through the duration of Brandon's tenure with the water department.
I am sure, given Brandon's excellent job-approval rating and his personal relationships with individual board members, that those were difficult and trying decisions for the board to render.
Yet, I believe the board was correct and justified in their actions and will be proven to have acted in the best interests of everyone concerned, especially Brandon.
Brandon is, of course, humiliated, ashamed and remorseful. He has engaged in some hefty withdrawals from the bank of trust, and it will require some significant time and effort to replenish those accounts.
He has redoubled his efforts through multiple courses of action to reestablish and fortify his desire and necessity for continued sobriety.
Brandon has taken a hard fall, and much like the rest of us, has proven that he, too, is susceptible to the frailties of human nature.
There are absolutely no acceptable excuses for Brandon's recent behavior and lapse in judgment, but neither is there any reason to continue kicking him when he is attempting sincere and honest efforts toward atonement for his transgression and moving forward with his life.
Those of us who love and support Brandon continue to hope and pray for his success.