With Ed Hale retiring as First Mariner's CEO and chairman, I only hope that Baltimoreans realize the importance of retaining this man in our area ("First Mariner's Hale steps down," Dec. 24).

I've known Ed for several decades and he is a true Baltimorean, a philanthropist, a very good tennis player and a great moral leader. He is a true treasure.

James A. Holechek, Baltimore