Editor’s note: The Wanderer invited candidates in contested races (more candidates than open seats) to write up to 350 words explaining their candidacy. Questions submitted by the League of Women Voters South Coast helped provide talking points for the candidates. Three candidates are running for two open seats on the Rochester Planning Board. The only entry submitted is below:
Dennis McCarthy – Rochester Planning Board
My name is Dennis McCarthy and I am running for Rochester Planning Board. I decided to run for several reasons. The first is that I believe in service. I served more than eight years in the military and my eldest son is currently on active duty. Another reason is that I believe more residents should have an active interest in town government. I was somewhat surprised when I found out that several seats on some of the boards will go unfilled because nobody is running for them.
I truly believe that we can all make a difference and even change some of the things we don’t like about our town. The first step to doing that is by becoming involved and volunteering.
Lastly, I believe that I possess a different perspective that would be valuable to the board. My wife Jennifer and I have lived in town for 17 years and have six children. I have been involved in commercial development on the south coast and Martha’s Vineyard, as well as New Hampshire and Maine for 23 years. During that time, I have overseen the design, permitting, and construction of over 250,000 feet of commercial and industrial space, and I manage close to 1,000,000 square feet of space.
I believe that the town is at a crossroad. More of our residents, especially our seniors, are seeing increasing tax bills that are forcing them to move. We also have a terrible shortage of affordable housing for young families looking to make Rochester home, as well as a very small commercial tax base. The Planning Board needs to work with other town departments to facilitate change in these areas and to help ensure that we are getting the most for our hard-earned tax dollars.
As a member of the Planning Board, I will use my experience in commercial development and business management to help bring the kind of changes that the town needs while still keeping the rural character of this farming community intact.
Editor’s note: The Wanderer invited candidates in contested races (more candidates than open seats) to write up to 350 words explaining their candidacy. Questions submitted by the League of Women Voters South Coast helped provide talking points for the candidates. Two candidates are running for one open seat vacated by Michael Conway on the Rochester Water Commission. The entries are presented in alphabetical order:
David Hughes – Rochester Water Commission
The reason that I am running for Water Commission is because I think the Town of Rochester has to have a plan in place for the future use of our most valuable resource, water. As the town grows, water will be a very important part of its growth.
The Town of Rochester has the water that is supplied to Fairhaven, Marion, Mattapoisett, and New Bedford. We are also part of the Mattapoisett River Valley Association. I will be one vote as a water commissioner, not two votes as my opponent (one for Board of Selectmen and one for Water Commission).
Brad Morse – Rochester Water Commission
I am Brad Morse. I am seeking support in election to the Rochester Water Commission. I am a fifth-generation cranberry farmer and have been a resident of Rochester since 1992. I was on the Planning Board for 12 years and have been a selectman since 2004.
I feel that I can be helpful to the Water Commission. I have handled negotiations with the Wareham Water District for our regional agreement and amendments. Since we don’t supply water to our residents, it requires intermunicipal agreements with towns that do; these regional agreements require Board of Selectmen approval. Also, by serving on both boards I will be able to help with open communications between the two boards.
Thank you for the support.
Editor’s note: The Wanderer invited candidates in contested races (more candidates than open seats) to write up to 350 words explaining their candidacy. Questions submitted by the League of Women Voters South Coast helped provide talking points for the candidates. Two candidates including incumbent Dale Barrows are running for one open seat on the Rochester Board of Health. The entries are presented in alphabetical order:
Dale Barrows – Rochester Board of Health
Hello, I am Dale Barrows. I am running for re-election to the Board of Health. I have served on the BOH for 24 years. My wife Margie and I have lived in Rochester for 35 years. I retired in 2019 after 32 years as director of public health for the Town of Mattapoisett. I first ran for the Board of Health in the 1990s after I was asked to help out in my capacity as Mattapoisett health agent in the board’s response to a fatal case of meningitis in Rochester. I then saw that there was a place where my experience could be a benefit.
In the position of director of health for Mattapoisett, I was responsible for the daily operations of the Health Department. I am a certified soil evaluator and Title 5 inspector. I am a food service inspector, pandemic response planner, emergency dispensing site operator, and solid waste and recycling operator. I am also a sanitary housing inspector and lead paint inspector.
I was responsible for Mattapoisett’s and Rochester’s solid waste and recycling programs, also the closing and capping of the Mattapoisett Landfill. I was also responsible for Mattapoisett Beach and recreational water testing, as well as the town’s mosquito control program.
I have served on the Executive Board of the Plymouth County Pandemic Planning and Response Coalition. I am currently serving as Rochester’s hazardous waste coordinator and East Freetown’s interim health agent. I have also worked for the Massachusetts Department of Corrections as an office,r as well as Rochester police officer in the early 1980s.
I feel that my experience has been a benefit to Rochester and its citizens. Rochester is a great place to live and raise a family. I’m asking for your vote for re-election to the Board of Health. Thank you.
Sarah Eby – Rochester Board of Health
My name is Sarah Eby. I have been a resident of the Tri-Town area for 27 years and am a Massachusetts native. I am running for the Board of Health in Rochester.
With MHA, BSN, and RN credentials, I have been a nurse for almost 25 years and have cared for our community for a majority of that time. I am also an assistant scoutmaster for Rochester Troop 31 and have enjoyed watching our youth learn and grow for over 10 years. I have also been a firefighter and EMT and ran rescue in Marion for seven years. In these roles, I have learned about our community, the people and the resources within it. As a member of the Board of Health, I would work to protect our environmental resources, promote sanitation, and support the health of our community members.
As we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, it will be important to guide our town through the re-opening. We should also learn from the pandemic, what our community did well and where we struggled, in order to move forward and be prepared for any community health threats in the future. We are a growing community. It will also be important to allow for growth and expansion, and at the same time protect our resources.
While my opponent has many years of experience on the board, I feel that my background in healthcare, combined with a common-sense approach and community focus, make me an ideal candidate to bring a fresh voice to Rochester’s Board of Health.
Vote for me and I’ll use my background in healthcare and knowledge of evidence-based practice and guidelines to work for you. Thank you for your consideration.
Please take time to vote in our town elections on Wednesday, May 26. Thank you.