Candidate profile: Dale Barrows for Rochester Board of Health

May 19, 2021

ROCHESTER — Incumbent Dale Barrows has been on the Board of Health for 26 years, and he doesn’t plan on stopping.

He’s running for another three-year term in the May 26 election.

“I feel like I have a lot to offer and the town gets the benefit of my knowledge,” he said.
Before he retired in 2019, Barrows was the Mattapoisett Health Director.

“But I still enjoy being on the Board of Health in Rochester,” he said. “It’s like an extension of my professional life.”

Barrows served on the Public Health Emergency Preparedness Commission of Plymouth County, where he worked to create a pandemic response with other county health officials.

“That was time well spent,” he said, when it came to dealing with covid.

Barrows was part of the planning that brought vaccine sites to the Tri-Town, and worked on outbreak plans in Mattapoisett and Rochester.

“We had been planning for something similar to this for 15 years,” he said.

A resident for 35 years, Barrows said he thinks Rochester has done “a great job” with handling the pandemic.

“Things literally were changing on a day-to-day basis for three months” at the beginning of the pandemic, he said. “We had to be prepared to respond whatever way [the state] saw best.”

Barrows has also been working on putting together the walk-up covid vaccine clinics at Plumb Corner and the fire station.

Other than covid, Barrows said he feels the biggest issues facing the Board of Health are water quality and sewer and septic systems.

“Drinking water quality is a big issue in Rochester,” he said, adding that he thinks the issue is “coming to the forefront.”

Barrows said he’s in favor of extending the municipal water supply in order to bring more regulated drinking water to residents.