Submitted by Betsey J. Anderson
I have lived in Bedford with my family since 1967. My children, their spouses and my grandchildren all live in and are active in the community. I served as a Selectman for 11 years and also as a member of the Finance Committee. I worked in the Finance Division at Tufts University for 15 years retiring in 2012 from my position of University Budget Director.
One of the things that I like best about living in Bedford is the fact that we have an Open Town Meeting. If you want to impact what is happening here, you do not have to stay frustrated on the sidelines. Open Town Meeting is the only form of government where every voter can participate directly. Your opinion will be heard and your vote can make a difference! As the Town faces ongoing financial pressures and complex decisions that will impact the present and the future of Bedford, Town Meeting remains important to all residents and taxpayers.
For the last fourteen years, I have had the privilege of serving as Moderator. I have enjoyed this experience very much and would like to be re-elected for another term. I approach this position with a deep respect for the institution, a thorough knowledge of our local by-laws, our town meeting customs and parliamentary procedure. It is important to me that our Town Meetings allow for full discussion of the issues, that we respect the individual’s right to express his/her view, and at the same time that the meetings are businesslike and move at an appropriate pace.
As your Moderator, I am a member of the Massachusetts Moderators’ Association and continue to learn from its annual meetings, training sessions and on-line forum. I served as president of the Association in 2007 to 2008 and currently serve as a member of the executive committee. The Association serves as a proponent of town meetings in the Commonwealth and investigates and experiments with the use of new technology to enhance or improve town meetings. The Moderators’ Association published a DVD about Open Town Meeting that seeks to encourage participation in Town Meeting by explaining how it works and demystifying some of the parliamentary procedures and rules. You can see it prior to Annual Town meeting on our local cable channel.
As Moderator I enjoy the opportunity to speak to students such as the Lane student council, Scouts and others about Town Meeting. A few years ago I wrote a guide to Town Meeting in conjunction with the League of Women Voters. Last summer it was updated and it is now posted on the Town’s website. Its goal is to help everyone better understand the workings of Town Meeting and to encourage effective participation.
I welcome questions or comments from anyone at any time. I consider it an honor to serve as Moderator of the Town of Bedford. I ask for your support of my re-election.