Shawn Hanegan formally announces his campaign for Planning Board

Shawn Hanegan at a recent Planning Board meeting - Image (c) JMcCT, 2013 all rights reserved
Shawn Hanegan at a recent Planning Board meeting – Image (c) JMcCT, 2013 all rights reserved

I am writing to formally announce my candidacy for the Bedford Planning Board. I would very much like the opportunity to continue serving on the Board for another three years.

Nine months ago, an opening came about on the Planning Board and I was honored to have been chosen to fill it from a field of five worthy candidates by a joint meeting of the Selectmen and the Planning Board. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time on the Board, working with outstanding fellow Board members and supported by a conscientious and diligent staff.  During these nine months, I have been able to work on issues that really matter to every person in Bedford and that help us continue to define the character of our town.

The work done by our Board is important. During my time on the Board, we have worked to develop a Comprehensive Plan for Bedford that will define growth and development, capital investment, and other public policy needs for the next ten years. The Board is also seeing and influencing the initial developments utilizing mixed use overlay districts at Depot Square and Middlesex Turnpike. We have taken this responsibility seriously and are in the process of ensuring that proposed developments are in the interest of the neighborhood and the town. We have also been able to help Bedford attract new businesses to town. Growth of the commercial tax base is an important reason that the residential property taxes stayed largely flat this year.

I chose to serve on the Planning Board because of an interest in public service, a background in housing-related volunteer work, and a desire to give back to the town. After working in town for over a decade, I moved to Bedford with my wife and two young daughters a year and a half ago, attracted by the reputation of the town as a great community and excellent place to raise kids. I have quickly come to love Bedford, and wanted to get involved in town early. I thank my wife and two daughters for their support, as the time demands on a Planning Board member are significant.

It takes a mix of skills to be a good Planning Board member. Each issue we face is different and I take time to listen to the issues and concerns of residents as well as the perspective of the developers. As a systems engineer at MITRE Corporation, I often bring an analytical perspective to the Board and can see how proposed projects have far-reaching and sometimes unintended consequences. I have been also able to utilize my knowledge from previous public service in my prior town of Billerica, including two years on the Zoning Board of Appeals, co-chairmanship of the yearlong 350th birthday celebration, and six years on the Housing Partnership Committee.  Our Bedford Planning Board has functioned very well as a team together, and I am pleased to state that I have received the support in this election of all four of my fellow Planning Board members.

In closing, I appreciate the opportunity I have had to serve, and ask for your vote for Planning Board on March 9th. Your vote would help give me three more years to finish work on the Comprehensive Plan, to continue to help Bedford preserve and improve its quality of life, and to help the town develop in a positive and sustainable way that we can all be proud of.


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