Shame on Rev. Jamal Bryant and the mayoral candidates for trashing Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake because she was absent from the mayoral debate on August 2 ( "Candidates focus on schools, crime," Aug 3). As a city resident, I want my mayor to be out with communities during annual grassroots events like National Night Out, not campaigning. The mayor was right to attend these events, spending time with neighborhoods who fight to reduce crime. It's surprising that the candidates did not take advantage of these numerous events throughout the city to campaign. Perhaps they and whoever chose the date for the debate are the ones out of touch and do not understand what's important to city residents.

Kim Lane, Lauraville