Councilman Ryan Dorsey, center, with City Council President Bernard "Jack" Young, left, and Mayor Catherine Pugh at his swearing-in ceremony in 2016.
Councilman Ryan Dorsey, center, with City Council President Bernard "Jack" Young, left, and Mayor Catherine Pugh at his swearing-in ceremony in 2016. (Barbara Haddock Taylor / Baltimore Sun)

Councilman Ryan Dorsey owes Mayor Catherine Pugh no apologies and should have offered her none (“Baltimore Mayor Pugh accepts Councilman Dorsey’s apology for ‘disrespectful’ criticisms,” March 27). Public figures who submit themselves to the people for elevation as living symbols of commerce, culture, or politics must accept criticism when they fail to honor our expectations. They are not excused at their convenience.

On more than one occasion, Mayor Pugh has demonstrated herself to be the inhabitant of a thin skin, obsessed with an adoration of her person. She has made war with local media when it refuses obsequies that please her, and it appears that she has held hostage Mr. Dorsey’s civic agenda on account of his candor. In this regard, the councilman’s comparisons to President Donald Trump are not unwarranted.

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In humbling himself to placate her vanity, Councilman Dorsey may have honored his duty to his constituents. But doing so has raised the cost for all future supplicants who come before the mayor. Any program, however worthy in its own regard, can expect no audience without a bended knee and a fatuous regard.

Only Mayor Pugh and Councilman Dorsey know the bargain between them. Nonetheless, we are all worse for his contrition.

Brian Gaither, Baltimore

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