EYE ON DRACUT (OPINION): Saluting Joe DiRocco’s Lifetime of Service to Dracut

By: Brian Genest – 5/24

It’s the end of an era in Dracut—and congratulations are in order.
Joe DiRocco has retired after serving on the Board of Selectmen for 20 years. As a town firefighter, fire chief and selectman, DiRocco has served Dracut for nearly 50 years.

He’s provided a lifetime of commitment to our children, seniors, business owners, first responders, working families, all of us. At his last meeting in April, DiRocco bid the town farewell. Here’s what he had to say about his tenure on the board.

“Thank you, Madam Chair. It’s been an honor and a privilege for me. I’ve had a pretty good life. I had a pretty good run. I had a good life with the fire department. That was my passion, so to say. My father was a firefighter before me and I kind of followed in his footsteps. It meant a lot to me.

The people in town have supported me from day one. When I became chief, me and the guys worked together. We got a couple of new stations. We brought the department forward. I retired in 2002 and in 2004 I ran. That was the first time I ran for Selectman.

I will say that I think that was the same year that Bush and Cheney had run, and they only got 6,671 votes. Susan Tucker was the senator at that time. She got 8,929. I’m proud to say that I got for the first vote, it’s probably a record in town I’m not sure, but I got 7,389 votes.

The closest competitor, I’ll leave his name out for now, but I’ll call him Mr. Venom, he’s been obsessed with me for 20 years. He’s done nothing but attack me, my family, my friends, anybody I have contact with. So, I don’t know who he’ll attack now, but I’m sure it’ll be somebody. Whoever he’s not endorsing, he will probably do that to.. For those that don’t know their name, it’s John Zimini.

But, besides that, I’m very proud to have worked with Dracut. I think we’ve got a lot of things done over the years. We’ve got fire stations, we’ve got schools, we’ve got a library, we’ve got this town hall that we’re in. It goes on and on and on, the things that I feel that I’ve been a part of.

And I’m very proud to say that I was born in Dracut, raised in Dracut, lived in Dracut all my life, and I’m proud of Dracut. I think Dracut is a community that a lot of other towns in our area envy because of everything that we’ve been able to accomplish.
So, as I said, it’s my last meeting, but I’ll be around. If I can do anything, I’ll be glad to. Thank you.”

Thank you, Joe, on behalf of so many appreciative citizens. Thank you for your hard work. Thank you for your time and talent. Thank you for your honesty and integrity. Thank you for fighting for the taxpayers. Thank you for your lifetime of service to Dracut!

Brian Genest is the producer and host of Eye On Dracut, winner of the Hometown Media Award for News, sponsored by Lucky Oil. ◊