I have been following the Rockport Selectboard election and have made special note of the recent attacks on Doc Wallace; on his character, his opinions, and the man himself. Because I know Doc personally, I feel compelled to write and hopefully be a voice of reason in the midst of these ugly, unfair and defamatory characterizations.

I have had the opportunity to observe Doc in a variety of situations, and he is not at all the man these attackers want the public to believe he is.

Doc is a public servant at heart, someone who cares deeply for his fellow human beings. In fact, we would be challenged to find someone who cares more, really cares, about people, people from all walks of life, especially those who are struggling or who need encouragement, those on the margins and who have no voice and the people whose paths he crosses on a daily basis.

I have seen him stop strangers to offer uplifting words. I have seen his heart break over the struggles of a friend he met at the farmer’s market. I have watched him mentor young people in the community, two of them my teenage sons, offering wisdom, showing interest, and buoying their spirits with encouraging words. Doc listens to people’s stories and struggles and remembers them when an opportunity arises that might benefit them, and he celebrates their achievements, however small, with enthusiasm and delight.

I am not going to pretend to know the motives of those who are attempting to spread fear and doubt and do damage to a good and kind man and his desire to serve his community.

I do not, however, need to pretend to know the man Doc Wallace is. He is optimistic, enthusiastic, good intentioned and full of ideas.

Doc loves the community of Rockport, truly loves it. He takes pride not only in its natural beauty, but in the beauty of its people, all of its people, and he wants to bring the town together and make certain that decisions made are of benefit to all of its residents.

My experience of the people of Maine, and Rockport in particular, is that they are an affable, fair-minded, open-hearted, accepting, and reasonable group. My hope is that the residents of Rockport are able to cut through all of the negative chatter and get to know the real Doc Wallace and give him the opportunity to serve our community.

Michelle Fossum