Criticism in letter over the top

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Jim Lehmann’s letter to the editor published on May 19 is most certainly an “attack letter!” Mr. Lehmann opines that Vernon Filan and others (that would include me) write letters “giving our opinions with unsupported and undocumented babblings.”

That statement by Mr. Lehmann is simply unsupported and undocumented. I have written many opinions, perhaps not as many as Mr. Filan, but certainly all with some dignity, all truthful and many with support and referencing.

I don’t always agree with Mr. Filan’s letters, but I most definitely support his right to give his opinion — in all forms. To say that Mr. Filan’s opinions are ill-conceived and are “bully” in nature are simply highly exaggerated and well over the top.

Mr. Lehmann suggests Mr. Filan “never” participates in an honest conversation about any fact or issue. That is also simply untrue and dishonest. How would Lehmann know that to be a fact? Is he around Mr. Filan on a daily basis? Does he engage in conversation with Mr. Filan? He certainly has not with me.

Mr. Lehmann seems to be attacking people who give their opinions. Why he doesn’t agree with them, he definitely does not have the right to blindly attack them! That certainly does not indicate working together to solve issues.

Did the Walla Walla School Board support the recent bond regarding Wa-Hi? Was Mr. Lehmann involved and did he support the bonds that were way over priced? Did the School Board and Mr. Lehmann support the levy for the pool that, along the way, became the waterpark? Were the Wa-Hi bonds not voted down more than once by the voters? How about the pool/waterpark? How about Edison?

Mr. Lehmann seems to be disgruntled about his efforts while serving on the School Board. I appreciate his service but I wouldn’t hope he wishes to be called a hero. Many people serve on boards, donate their time and/or money, volunteer on many important community affairs or projects (I do). But they do not attack others who simply write opinion letters to offer suggestions.

Mr. Lehmann was wrong to attack Vernon Filan for doing just that! He should apologize.

Michael Donovan

Walla Walla

Comments

fatherof5 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Mr. Donovan, your letter incorrectly attributes the following to Mr. Lehmann's letter:

  1. “Mr. Lehmann opines that Vernon Filan and others - that would include me - write letters giving our opinions with unsupported and undocumented babblings.” (In fact, Mr. Lehmann only said that of Vernon Filan and his “attack letters.” He didn't mention you or any other well-reasoned, civil-toned opponent.)

  2. “I have written many opinions...with dignity, etc.” (Again, that's nice, but Mr. Lehmann wasn't criticizing you.)

  3. “I most definitely support (Filan's) right to give his opinion – in all forms.” (What is your point here? Mr. Lehmann never suggested Filan didn't have the right to give his opinion.)

  4. “Mr. Lehmann suggests Mr. Filan “never” participates in an honest conversation about any fact or issue.” (This is taken out of context. In context, Mr. Lehmann is saying that Mr. Filan never attended board meetings, attended budget work sessions, served on a school committee, or “participated in an honest conversation about any fact or issue.” It could have been better worded, but he was referring to Filan's complete lack of in-person communications with the board.

  5. “Mr. Lehmann seems to be attacking people who give their opinions...he does not have the right to blindly attack them.” (Nowhere in his letter does Mr. Lehmann suggest that all people who disagree with him are bad, nor is he blindly attacking people who give their opinions. What he writes is: “I have a right to publicly defend myself...and respond to (Filan's) attack on my integrity and ethics.” Well, doesn't he have this right? (Hint: he does.)

  6. “Mr. Lehmann seems to be disgruntled about his efforts while serving on the School Board.” (Nowhere in his letter does he suggest any such thing. In fact, he writes: “I am proud of all of the decisions I made.” And later: “I feel honored to have served this community.” Does that sound “disgruntled”?)

  7. “I wouldn't hope he wishes to be called a 'hero.'” (Nowhere does Mr. Lehmann suggest he wants to be called a hero. Your implication otherwise incorrectly makes him appear needy and egotistical. That's misleading. Here's a link to Mr. Lehmann's letter.)

Finally, Mr. Donovan. I've read a number of letters written by Vern Filan, as have we all. Embedded in most of his letters is an attack on the integrity of those with whom he disagrees. Using public forums such as the U-B to repeatedly make such unsupported claims about someone's character IS bullying. It is quite understandable that Mr. Lehmann would want to defend himself.

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Calzaretta 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Very well-reasoned response. Finally, common sense on the U-B comment section!

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