May 22 Meeting will Explore Ways to Make Town Meeting More Attractive and Accessible

Special to The Bedford Citizen

At Annual Town Meeting this spring, Moderator Cathy Cordes announced the formation of a task force to explore ways to make Town Meeting more attractive and accessible to Bedford residents.

Anyone who is interested in participating on this task force or would like to find out more, is invited to meet on May 22 at Town Hall at 7:30 pm in the second-floor conference room. This is an open meeting.

Annual Town Meeting ~ 2017, Letter to the Editor: April 1, 2017 – Response to Bedford’s Plastic Bag Ban

By Katie Luczai

When we, as a town, decided to ban the sale of single-use plastic bags, what is it saying about our environmental action and our values?

On Tuesday, March 28, 2017, the town of Bedford banned the sale of thin-film, single-use bags. As a resident of Bedford, a student, and an environmentalist, this measure makes me optimistic and should be given the support it deserves. This letter is to affirm and gain more widespread support for this massively beneficial town movement.

Annual Town Meeting ~ 2017: Residents Approve $87+ Million Budget as Town Meeting Concludes

By Lizzie Seibert

The largest sum of money that residents voted on was the Town Operating Budget for the Fiscal Year 2018. The operating budget was presented by the Finance Committee, which has been discussing fiscal needs with each of Bedford’s departments and committees since October 2016. In his budget presentation, Finance Committee Chair Stephen Steele outlined the specific guidelines that the Committee used to create the budget: a guideline to increase the tax levy by 2.5% for all departments and committees, except for the School Department which received a guideline of 3.5% due to growing enrollment and special education needs; projected town revenues of $97,927,527 for FY2018 ); and a conservative desire to overestimate town expenses and underestimate revenue. The total operating budget is $87,067,632. Residents unanimously voted to approve this budget.

Annual Town Meeting ~ 2017: CPC Budget Approved

By Lizzie Seibert

The Community Preservation Committee presented a budget of 15 projects totaling $1,600,598 and a request for a $3,000,000 bond authorization to support 48 affordable housing units in Bedford Village to voters at Annual Town Meeting.

Annual Town Meeting ~ 2017: Capital Budget Requests Approved

By Lizzie Seibert

Night Two of Annual Town Meeting opened with residents voting on remaining items in the Capital Expenditures budget, each of which requires partial or full bond authorizations. Approval was given to the following projects: Middlesex Turnpike Water Main Replacement ($555,109), DPW Large Dump Truck Replacement ($473,814), Water Tank Refurbishment ($818,407), Police Station Schematic Design Services ($255,000), Lane School Parking Lot & Circulation Improvement ($300,000), and Water Meter Replacement Program ($1,251,000). The Capital expenditures projects from both nights combined total $5,924,547.

Annual Town Meeting ~ 2017: A First Look at the Votes Taken on Night Two

Compiled by The Bedford Citizen

Although the house wasn’t standing room only, a good-sized crowd arrived for Night Two of Bedford’s 2017 Annual Town Meeting.

On the agenda: the Capital Projects requiring bonding; the Community Preservation budget, including funds to support continuing affordable units at Bedford Village; salary plan, operating budgets and other financial articles.

Editor’s Note: In-depth coverage by The Bedford Citizen’s reporters will be found in individual stories about particular articles.

Voters Approve Medical Marijuana Zoning

By Eliza Rosenberry More than four years after residents voted to legalize medical marijuana, Bedford has designated an area of town for such businesses to operate here. Voters at Annual Town Meeting on Tuesday, March 27 approved a zoning bylaw amendment that...

Annual Town Meeting ~ 2017: Paper or Plastic? Bedford Votes Bylaw to Ban Plastic Bags

By Linda Pollitz

At Town Meeting on Monday, March 27voters considered whether the town should eliminate the use of thin-film, single-use plastic bags that are typically provided at checkout at retail stores, supermarkets, restaurants, and the like.Article 10, “Plastic Bag Reduction in Business Establishments,” proposed that alternative (multi-use plastic or paper) or that shoppers bring their own reusable bags to take home their purchases. Currently, 43 Massachusetts cities and towns have already passed such laws, and ninemore are considering adopting such laws.

Annual Town Meeting ~ 2017: Night One in Review

By Lizzie Seibert

The Bedford High School Auditorium sat a full house on March 27, the first night of Bedford’s annual town meeting. With 31 articles listed for residents to vote on, 20 were heard at last night’s meeting and voting will continue into tonight.

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