I have known Mark Dubois since 2006, when I was town manager of Denmark and Mark was part of the Poland Spring team that purchased 750 acres and installed wells and a pump station. He helped us craft a water extraction ordinance that protected the aquifer and gave the town the right to shut down the operation if water levels dropped to dangerous levels.

It has now been over 10 years since Poland Spring started, with Mark as the town’s representative in the early years, and I don’t believe that any of the production wells have been shut down in that period for threatening vital water supplies. Water levels are monitored in ponds, streams and some private wells. Mark is a man of integrity and intelligence, a water professional and hydrogeologist, and those are the people we need on important state environmental boards.

Shame on the Portland Press Herald for doing a hatchet job on Mark in the Jan. 24 edition. The negative news article by Colin Woodard about Mark’s nomination to the Board of Environmental Protection ran on the same day as the rambling criticism by a frequent Fryeburg critic, Nickie Sekera, in a Maine Voices op-ed.

Where did the Press Herald find such a frowning picture of Mark to put on the front page, when Mark is a smiling guy even featured in outdoor advertisements? The article featured no positive comments from the towns served by Poland Spring, nor comments from the 800 employees getting good paychecks from Poland Spring.

Kudos to Sen. Tom Saviello for giving a fair assessment of Mark, instead of Ms. Sekera’s comment that “the senator’s ties to Dubois fuel mistrust in the confirmation process.” Knee-jerk criticisms without any facts about Mark’s background, education and experience are what fuel mistrust.

Does the Press Herald think that the president of Poland Spring would call Mark and tell him how to vote? I believe in giving everyone a fair hearing, and because that was done at the confirmation hearing, the Senate has wisely recognized and confirmed Mark Dubois.