In your Sept. 13 article on the absence of opposition candidates running for open Belfast City Council seats, Councilor Mike Hurley wants it both ways.

Hurley arrogantly says he was tempted to berate the public (for the absence of opposition candidates), but he didn’t do so because he didn’t want to encourage anyone to run against any of the three council members up for reelection.

But then Hurley said the absence of opposition candidates is a “tremendous loss to the civic conversation.” Clearly Hurley’s alleged concern for civic conversation is so much hot air.

Sadly, the historical record supports this conclusion. In the Sept. 13 article, Hurley said he wanted to debate the proposed $500 million Nordic Aquafarms industrial fish farm, but in 2018, Hurley and the City Council unanimously rammed through a zoning change Nordic needed, despite more than 130 written public comments urging the council to slow down — and not one written public comment in favor of the council’s rushed zoning-change vote.

Then the City Council made clear it would shut down the city’s climate-change committee if the committee were to consider the Nordic issue — which is by far the biggest climate issue facing Belfast.

So much for grave concern about civic conversation.

Then there’s the City Council’s creation of a laughable sham “park” solely for the purpose of enabling Nordic Aquafarms use of land it hasn’t been able to acquire by legitimate means.

And on and on. Perhaps there are no opposition candidates running for City Council because no one wants any part of such shams. I know I wouldn’t.

Lawrence Reichard

Belfast