I was really dismayed to read Bill Nemitz’s Nov. 5 column, related to Bree LaCasse. I am a big fan of his writing style and generally agree with his opinions. This piece really seemed over the top in his criticism of Bree, complete with making assumptions about her motives.

I received the flier that was so criticized just a few days prior to Nemitz’s column. By that time, the Portland Press Herald had already endorsed incumbent Jill Duson for the at-large City Council seat (Our View, Oct. 28). It seemed clear to me that the quotes on the flier from individuals were from letters to the editor, and that the Press Herald’s quote was from your endorsement editorial, which I had read previously. It never entered my mind that Bree was trying to imply something else.

The criticism related to Bree’s supposed connection to Progressive Portland, Steven Biel and an email list seems very tentative at best.

I met Bree when she knocked on our door last month and we spent some time talking about issues. I was encouraged that a bright, capable young woman, who had significant experience, was stepping forward to serve the city. I hadn’t felt that hopeful for some time.

The danger is that episodes like this, that deep level of criticism, based to some degree on assumptions about motives, will discourage civic-minded young people from serving. We all lose if that happens.

Mary Ann Larson

Portland