Town Committee Appointments: Cable TV, Energy Task Force, Trails, Wilson Mill Park Planning

By Kim Siebert MacPhail

The Selectmen appointed citizens to several Town committees during their meeting on October 1. Applicants were interviewed for some of the committees on September 17 but the Selectmen delayed decisions on a number of those appointments for a variety of reasons. Interviews of applicants for some of the committees were conducted on September 17 but decisions on a number of those appointments were delayed for a variety of reasons. [To read the article about those interviews, visit:  ]

Cable Television Committee

The Cable Television Committee had three openings and five applicants. Interviews for three of the five candidates were conducted at the September 17 meeting and the final two candidates were interviewed on Oct 1. Ultimately, the Selectmen chose the two candidates with most cable television experience—Jeff Whitely and Scott Counsell—and a third candidate— Alicia Tillman— for her expertise with finances.

Since Bedford TV’s contract with Comcast will be renegotiated next year, Selectmen Bill Moonan, liaison to the Cable TV Committee, asked Counsell to describe strategies he had used to get the best terms when he was  involved with cable TV contract negotiations in Everett. Counsell said he thinks that Bedford’s current contract is a little low—3 ½ % of Comcast’s cable revenue from Bedford subscribers. If the Bedford TV wants to cover more meetings, add personnel and update their equipment, they need to make the case for a higher rate, more in the 4-5% range.

“I think the Committee has a valuable role to play in keeping [Comcast’s and Verizon’s] feet to the fire and not letting the cable companies take us for granted,” Counsell said. “We need to continue to provide oversight and make sure that they provide the best service that they can.”

Energy Task Force

Selectmen had interviewed Robert Kalantari on September 17 for an opening on the Ad Hoc Energy Task Force but delayed the appointment while they considered whether the Task Force should continue its work as originally charged. Selectman Margot Fleischman, liaison to the Task Force, reported that a discussion had taken place at the group’s last meeting and that there was enthusiasm to continue. The Task Force’s main focus will be increased conservation of municipal energy. Robert Kalantari was appointed to the Task Force for a term ending July 1, 2013.

Trails Committee

Jim Weissman was put forward on September 17 as a new member of the Trails Committee but the Selectmen postponed affirming him until October 1, after information was forwarded to them about Weissman’s interest and qualifications. The Trails Committee is a subcommittee of the Conservation Commission and appointees are channeled through ConCom rather than through the Volunteer Coordinating Committee. Nonetheless, since the Selectmen affirm the nominees, they requested information before affirming Weissman’s appointment to fill the single vacancy on the Committee.

Wilson Mill Park Planning Committee

Brian Bartkus was appointed to the Wilson Mill Park Planning Committee, although the Selectmen and Bartkus believed he had already been named to the group. Bartkus has been attending meetings since last May and serving as a full committee member, unaware that his appointment was somehow not official. His appointment on October 1 remedies the oversight.

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