To the editor:

We are writing in support of Paul Murphy and William Wagner for Rockport selectmen. In these trying times, experience in government is crucial; we need selectmen we can trust to make hard decisions and protect everyone’s health and financial welfare. The COVID-19 pandemic will result in less revenue – from state aid, hotel and meals taxes, and parking. On top of all the usual budget needs (schools, roads, emergency services, town government) Rockport will be searching for funding to increase technology for the schools, keep town buildings clean and safe for the health of staff and users, and maintain services for seniors and all citizens. Both Bill and Paul will develop innovative and practical solutions to these pressing issues.

While our town administrator and Finance Department are working diligently to solve these problems, it is important to have members of the Board of Selectmen who possess an in-depth understanding of the financial issues, and who can develop practical solutions. This is not the time to be breaking in well-intentioned but inexperienced candidates.

Paul Murphy has served three terms as Rockport selectman, and has twice been chairman. He has been a school administrator for 30 years and holds a maste’rs degree in school administration. He served two terms on the Rockport School Committee, including two years as chairman. During his town service, Paul has grappled with every issue Rockport has seen to date, including Long Beach leases, austerity budgets, rights-of-way, liquor licensing, and controversies between different groups of constituents. He understands that no matter what happens, people come first, and our children are our future.

Bill Wagner has 40 years of career leadership in financial management and planning. He has a degree in aerospace engineering and a master’s in management, both from MIT. He served on the Finance Committee for six years, two as chairman, and was on the Capital Improvement and Planning Committee. During this time, he worked diligently to make the budget process more clear and transparent to the voters. Bill has a thorough understanding of Town finances, and how all the departments and committees of the Town work together. He is a thoughtful, careful person who will listen to everyone and weigh all sides to a question before making a decision. From years of hiking our trails, Bill appreciates the uniqueness of Rockport, and he will be diligent in protecting our century-old rights to their use.

When you enter the voting booth, your decision is yours alone, and you have the opportunity to cast your votes for the candidates you believe are best. We need selectmen who do their homework and are ready to work the long hours required to resolve the many issues that affect Rockport. Please watch the League of Women Voters debate (available on local television,,Facebook page ‘1623 Studios’ or via a link on Even a candidate with no experience can prepare by doing the hard work of understanding the issues. The debate highlights who comes to the table prepared to work and who does not.

We urge you to cast your votes for selectmen for Bill Wagner and Paul Murphy – there’s no substitute for experience!

Mel and June Michaels


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