Submitted by Amy Lloyd
Since arriving in Bedford seven years ago, I’ve been consistently impressed with the high level of citizen engagement in the governance of our town. I believe strongly that the health of a town is in the hands of its citizens and we all have an important role to play. I too hope to do my part for our town’s well being and so, I would like to formally announce my candidacy for the Bedford Planning Board in the upcoming election in March.
From a young age, I worked alongside my father and grandfather in our family’s small construction business, learning the nuts and bolts of how all kinds of structures are built and function. Dinnertime conversations typically centered around topics of business development, historic preservation and land-use in my small hometown. These early experiences gave me an abiding interest in all aspects of architecture, urban planning and design. Later, as a business analyst, I observed how misconceptions and miscommunications between groups could impede the progress of a project. I found myself to be an effective “translator” of sorts, and worked hard to ensure that the different groups involved in a large projects understood the perspectives and needs of one another.
The work of the Planning Board is important to the health and future viability of Bedford; from smaller aesthetic suggestions to large development negotiations, the Board’s activities are important not only to our daily quality of life, but have a critical impact on Bedford’s economic health as well. I will bring to the Board a passion for the built environment, my commitment to fostering healthy collaboration between different — and often differing — groups, and a detailed understanding of the physical and economic factors that go into any sort of construction. I feel strongly that finding balance is a critical part of the Board’s function. Residents, current and potential businesses, the town as a legal entity and various institutions all have important needs that must be weighed carefully before effective decisions can be made.
Traffic is one persistent issue that the Planning Board is constantly aware of and I would support efforts to take a regional approach to mitigating excessive traffic by working in collaboration with neighboring towns wherever possible to formulate solutions that are longterm and lasting. Conversely, rapidly increasing transportation costs may have an unexpected beneficial effect on traffic. Bedford has a unique asset in our commercial shopping districts that are within the central core of the town. Proximity to daily needs such as groceries, restaurants, and pharmacies is an increasingly important factor in the decisions on where individuals and businesses choose to locate. As a member of the Planning Board, I would work to encourage the healthy economic development of these commercial areas, and at the same time, maintain our small town “feel” and increase pedestrian access & safety.
My husband John and I came to Bedford — as so many do — for the excellent schools, which have indeed served our son very well. The icing on the cake for us was that Bedford is an incredibly friendly and healthy place to live; we feel quite fortunate to have found a town with such a strong sense of community. I am committed to the work of economic viability, community preservation, and pleasing & functional urban design, and I would be grateful for the opportunity to advocate for Bedford on the Planning Board.
I respectfully ask for your vote on March 9th. Thank you.