“The town has lost a public servant of rare quality with the untimely death of John Lee.
In the brief time he was in the local firmament his star shone brightly for he combined a vigorous and well-thought campaigning style with courtesy and restraint.
Over the decades, countless folk beat a path to the Observer office. Inevitably, some brought with them not only their appeals for publicity for their chosen causes but also their personal grudges and their hidden agendas.
John Lee was different. His message was direct and simple. He cared deeply about his adopted town and wanted to serve its best interests.
If he became a thorn in the flesh of local authority it was because he perceived schemes such as the new West Parade shelters to be ludicrously ill-considered and grotesquely over-expensive. John’s gift was the ability to marshal facts coherently and persuasively without recourse to cant or hyperbole.
What John Lee might have gone on to achieve will never be known for his own ill health swiftly followed the death of his wife and he was forced to quit local politics all too soon.
He remains a shining example of how to conduct oneself in the public arena.”
By John Dowling
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