Jamestown Councilman Michael Taylor said it himself earlier this month when he was charged with criminal mischief on an accusation that he had deliberately broken a large window at a city bar.
He said he hoped what had happened would be an example to others to avoid taking actions that could ruin their lives and livelihood.
"I think something that's important for this, for everybody, is to always stay in good company, number one ... and to just always watch yourself and to stay away from confrontation, and things could be avoided," Taylor, who works as a substitute teacher, said.
At that point on a Monday, Taylor stepped down as chair of the city's Public Safety Committee, but stayed on as councilman.
Then just days later, Taylor, 35, showed the emptiness of his own words
At 2:12 a.m. on that Friday, he was stopped by Jamestown police for speeding on East Second Street and found to be, allegedly, driving while drunk.
And so to the charge of third-degree felony criminal mischief, police added a misdemeanor DWI charge. He has pleaded innocent to both.
Clearly Councilman Taylor should take the logical second step and resign from the council altogether.
Yes, City Council members are human and sometimes find themselves in the all-too-human position of being in a bad situation. But for Councilman Taylor, the incident outside a city bar was not the first time he had created problems for himself. Nor was it the first time Taylor's actions made an already poor situation bad enough to have the police involved.
The DWI incident is on top of all of that.
There's nothing in the state Public Officers Law or even in the Jamestown City Charter that says Taylor cannot continue serving serve on the City Council.
That doesn't mean he should serve.
Stepping into the spotlight of public service is about more than voting on resolutions or leading the discussion at a meeting. A preoccupied City Council member dealing with allegations of inappropriate behavior and drunken driving does neither the residents of Ward 3 nor the City Council as a whole any good. And, as a pattern of behavior emerges, Taylor's judgment and ability to learn from his mistakes is seriously called into question.
There is also the element Councilman Vince DeJoy spoke about after the incident at the bar.
DeJoy voiced his support for Taylor continuing on in the council job, but he also noted, "I think being an elected official, you have to hold yourself to a higher standard and try not to put yourself in those positions.''
In fact, Taylor's situation is a terrible example to the very people he said he hoped would take a lesson from what had happened to him.
The city doesn't need a distraction involving one of its council members - it needs a public servant working to benefit the people in his ward who deserve to have an active, respected and authoritative voice speaking on their behalf.
The best contribution Michael Taylor can make right now is to resign from his post so someone else can assume the role he has forfeited.