Letter to the Editor: Merit of opinions lost in personal attacks 



To the Editor: 

And to the Bar Harbor Town Council,  

This letter responds to the opinion piece written by Tom St. Germain and published as a Viewpoint in last week’s Islander. If Mr. St. Germain had confined the editorial to his views on the facts and arguments pertaining to the potential LUZO changes to appear on our upcoming July ballot, he would have been fully within his rights as an involved, contributing and concerned citizen. However, his last several paragraphs unnecessarily and improperly consist of vituperative, malignant and personal defamation and libel of several other equallyconcerned, involved and participating citizens, at least one of whom has communicated views quite different from Mr. St. Germain’s.  

It is not the merits of various opinions on these potential zoning changes that concern me here, but the inexcusably low and community-destroying quality of Mr. St. Germain’s published comments, coming moreover not from a private citizen but from an official in our town government, which must therefore take ownership and responsibility for them.  

Returning to official business, this letter explicitly and on the permanent public record asks the Town Council to formally disavow Mr. St. Germain’s personal attacks on a fellow citizen, and to remove him from the office that he has just demonstrated himself manifestly unfit to hold. In the absence of such action, the council will unavoidably assume equal responsibility for Mr. St. Germain’s scurrilous personal attacks, and thus render itself liable for either private legal action or official complaint to the Maine Ethics Commission. Further, if this is how our town government responds to legitimate community viewpoints, then I and hopefully many other citizens will vote as a matter of protest and principled conscience against all of the suggested zoning changes, unfortunately and notwithstanding the potential merits in some or all of them. In conclusion, this level of dialogue and responsibility by town officials cannot be sanctioned or tolerated.  

Charles Sidman  

Bar Harbor 

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