In the overall scheme of things John Norman did nothing wrong.
In fact, if you consider the larger fall-out from the Bonavista town councillor's willingness to talk publicly about an issue of importance to the public, he did everything right.
He shed light on the fact that two provincial historic sites - namely the Bonavista Lighthouse and the Mockbeggar Property - were long overdue for a fix-up.
And he didn't really step out of bounds with respect to his role within the Bonavista Town Council when he spoke publicly on the issue.
As chair of the town's tourism committee, he was the appropriate spokesperson for the town on this matter. The heads of council committees, of any council, are often contacted for comment or information related to their committee. It's standard practice.
Norman could have deferred to Mayor Betty Fitzgerald when the media came calling on him to provide further information related to a brief note in the minutes of council.
He wasn't legally obliged to do so, however. And if council had enough confidence in him to lead the tourism committee, surely they should not have had a problem with him speaking on the matter when approached by the media.
When you consider that council had certainly given the provincial government a lot of leeway when it came to maintenance of these two historic sites - starting with a letter to the province nearly a year ago - the biggest error in this entire fiasco was, in fact, made by the province and, more specifically, the department of tourism.
If the department had recognized the seriousness of the situation at that point and arranged for at least a fresh coat of paint at the lighthouse, reporters would have had nothing to photograph or videotape.
However, due to the department's apparent lack of action, the media had a very interesting issue to report on.
More to the point, this year's season of tourists who came to see the lighthouse and Mockbeggar plantation, came away with less-than-postcard-perfect photos of these provincially-owned historic sites.
The positive fallout from the story - that probably would never have seen the light of day if not for John Norman - is that the department of tourism, as a result of this embarrassment, definitely has the lighthouse and Mockbeggar plantation on its 'to do' list.
The other fallout is that John Norman is no longer chair of the town's tourism committee - a decision he made (see story page B1) because he feels he can do more good for the town by not being hemmed in by protocol.
While he is still a member of council, he has decided that as a private citizen, and member of other committees in the town, he can still speak more freely on matters that are important to all citizens.
The loser in this is not John Norman.
The loser is anyone who thinks that free speech can be stymied by protocol and the notion that you cannot make progress by publicly challenging provincial government departments.
We need more John Normans to speak up.
After all, the only thing he did was point out the obvious.
And there's absolutely nothing wrong with that.