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Unsolicited support for Harbormaster Gilmet

I am writing to express totally unsolicited support for city Harbormaster Don Gilmet.

First, I wish The News did not allow character assassinations in the Letters to the Editor. I understand free speech and that people have the right to their own opinion but it seems like an easy way to take a swipe at someone, anyone, with whom you disagree — and that hurtful words cannot be taken back. When I was mayor, a totally unfounded accusation, that I could disprove, was printed, after which I received written threats that I took to the police. People still mention it 10 years later. The assertion that Don disrespects and lacks empathy for those who died on 9-11 is not true. I haven’t talked with Mr. Gilmet. I don’t know what happened that the harbor flag was not lowered in a timely manner. But I DO know the man from my 24 years at City Hall.

He and I are on completely different ends of the political continuum, yet he has always treated me with respect — even as he poked fun of my political leanings. I know he is a patriot. He has worn the uniform of the U.S. armed forces and actively served in the reserves. As building inspector, he is known to be tough but fair. He treats everyone the same regardless of status. He is well-liked by his coworkers. He is a wonderful family man and grandfather. He is an all-around good guy. Maybe he needed to be reminded about 9-11. Maybe he had something else that prevented him from accomplishing the task as it should have been handled. But to indicate he is uncaring with total disregard for those who lost their lives on 9-11 is just plain wrong.

CAROL SHAFTO,

Alpena