opinion: Doug Cole

A View from the Rockport Select Board Seat

Tue, 03/24/2020 - 10:30am

What a shock it has been for me over the past two weeks, going from looking forward to the calm of winding down the town “budget season” to being thrown into the grips of the current coronavirus pandemic.

As a select board member I am only responsible for setting town policies, so I feel somewhat inadequate when I consider all of the people who are executing the town’s business and trying to keep our town running on a day to day basis. I wanted to send out a few thanks to those who are doing the heavy lifting.

First, I want to thank our town manager, Bill Post.  Despite being quite new to our town, he has worked tirelessly communicating with employees, select board, and our representatives in Augusta to get the latest information needed to keep the town running. Through his efforts, the town has swiftly developed a workable plan to ensure that vital services will continue to be provided to our residents.  

He has provided the needed leadership so critical in these uncertain times.

Next, I want to thank our town employees. 

They continue to try and do their jobs in very difficult circumstances so that there can be some “normalcy” in the day to day activities of our citizens.  The routine things like getting your car registered or obtaining a marriage license. 

Being able to get these chores done is important in giving us a sense of “routine” in these unsettled times. 

A special thank you to our town police, firemen, and public works crew.  They do not have the luxury of “working from home”, so they show up and continue to help keep us safe while we hunker down in our own homes.

Rockport is very fortunate to have Pen Bay Medical Center in our town. 

During my career as a surgeon we had frequent drills to practice for various emergency scenarios, but we never envisioned circumstances like we have now.

It is reassuring to me to know that my friends and colleagues on the  medical, administrative, and ambulance staffs are working to prepare as best they can for whatever may come. 

We are also lucky to have two excellent infectious disease physicians who also call Rockport home: Cheryl Liechty and Mark Eggena. 

I know that in their leadership roles at the hospital they are in daily contact with the Maine CDC and colleagues around the state.  I can’t think of two better physicians to be leading this effort and that is very reassuring. 

So, if you have a chance to do so safely, thank these people for their continued service. And we can continue to help them do their jobs safely by doing our part: Practicing social distancing, washing your hands, for now, stay home when you can.

You know the drill. 

Thank you

Douglas Cole, Rockport Select Board member