Letter to the Editor: Join the debate 

To the Editor: 

Gary Friedmann’s Islander column of June 25 fell beneath the dignity one expects of an elected official.  

Mr. Friedmann makes no attempt to rebut the detailed facts and analysis contained in a flyer authored by my wife, Donna Karlson. Instead, he makes a conspiratorial charge that an anonymous “they” are mailing “their views to every postal patron in Bar Harbor.” My wife is an individual, not an anonymous conspiracy. Donna Karlson has a name. Mr. Friedmann should have the courage to name the individual whom he chooses to criticize and then actually engage that person on the facts and issues in dispute. 

Pursuant to her duty to investigate as a Warrant Committee member, Donna Karlson attended most of the sessions of the Planning Board at which Articles 3-5 were drafted. She understands the risk to yearround housing that Articles 3-5 create. Mr. Friedmann does not. That is evident from Mr. Friedmann’s column claiming that these Articles, that would actually expand temporary employee housing in Bar Harbor, will magically lead to “affordable housing” for yearround residents. The phrase “affordable housing” appears nowhere in any of these Articles. It is wishful thinking that forprofit hotels that are allowed to increase off-site seasonal worker housing will suddenly engage in acts of charity and sell any of their current housing stock to moderate income yearround residents.  

Mr. Friedmann’s calling Donna Karlson’s detailed facts and analysis “scare tactics” reminds me of Donald Trump’s mantra denouncing any criticism of him as “fake news.”  Mr. Friedmann, please join the debate on the issues and don’t engage in anonymous personal attacks. 

Arthur Greif
Bar Harbor 

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