To the Editor:

Yesterday I published a letter to defend myself against what I viewed as an attempt to paint me in a negative light based upon articles I shared on my Facebook page and an ugly comment I made 10 years ago in response to an appalling video. I won’t reiterate or re-litigate any of the points made in that letter or the history behind them –  it’s there for all to read.

My letter elicited some passionate responses, which I respectfully read with an open
mind. I directly reached out to several who made comments and had some honest and productive dialogue with them. I respect their perspectives.

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My comments about Islam were indefensible and not reflective of who I am as a person and how I treat people of all faiths, creeds and races, and for this, I apologize. My conscience dictates that I extend this sincere apology to the entire community, especially our Muslim residents, my family, and my running mate, Len Resto, a good man whose campaign for re-election should not have been tainted by this.

Our political discourse nationwide has sunken to an all-time low in tone, and is filled with anger reflective of a society that at times seems on the brink of a civil war. People on opposite sides of an issue are no longer rivals, but enemies. This experience has made me realize how my own self-selection of reading and viewing material, which reinforces my own perspective on things, has set a negative example. For that, I also apologize.

I own up to my own complicity in the form of past rants on various topics, and am
making a commitment to lowering the volume and keeping our discussion on local,
state, and national issues civil. This doesn’t mean we can’t be passionate about something we feel strongly about or be ashamed of what we truly believe. I am making a pledge to stand firm in my own personal beliefs and commitments, but to do so in a respectful manner.

I am proud that my service on the Chatham Borough Council has been marked by a spirit of collegiality among my colleagues on the governing body regardless of whether they are Democrat or Republican, conservative or liberal. We get things done for the greater good of the town, and that’s how it should be, especially at the local level.

Peter Hoffman,

Candidate for Borough of Chatham Council