Selectmen Elect New Chair

By Joan Bowen

Margot Fleischman, chairman of Bedford's Selectmen
Margot Fleischman, chairman of Bedford’s Selectmen

The Selectmen elected Margot Fleischman their next chair at the start of their first meeting following the Town Election on March 8.  The Bedford Citizen asked Fleischman to comment on the role of the Selectmen.

How do you identify the role of the Selectmen?
“I see the Selectmen’s role as the Chief Executive body of the town as broad and varied. The Selectmen are invested with the trust of the citizens to work for the benefit the town, and through our leadership to promote the quality of life of everyone who lives or works in Bedford. We have specific authority and responsibilities, like signing contracts, making appointments and preparing the town meeting warrant. We set policy and articulate strategic direction through annual goals for ourselves and the Town Manager.  All five of us participate in a broad range of town committees through our liaison assignments, where a big part of our job is to keep the lines of communication open.”

Does the role of the Selectmen extend beyond the town borders?
“While our actual authority lies at the local level, we also act as representatives of the town in the wider community, and we work to shape discussion and decision-making at the regional, state, and federal levels.”

Are there aspects of the role of Selectmen that you particularly enjoy?
“It isn’t mentioned in the Town Charter, but for me personally, one of the best aspects of being a Selectman is the opportunity to assist residents by giving them a better understanding of how our form of town government works and getting their questions answered.”

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