Bill Moonan: Candidate for Selectman

bill moonan-1Bill Moonan of 18 Crescent Avenue has announced his candidacy for re-election to a third term as a Bedford Selectman.  For 40 years, he has resided in Bedford with his wife, former State Senator Carol Amick.  They have two grown children.

Moonan’s chief goals as a Selectman have been to identify creative solutions to meet Bedford’s current and future fiscal and planning challenges and obligations, and to protect Bedford’s historic and small-town character.

To accomplish the first of these goals, he has attended almost every Finance Committee and Capital Expenditures Committee (CapEx) meeting held since he was first elected six years ago (he is the Selectman-member of CapEx) to offer a financial control point of view to discussions pertaining to raising or expending funds.  He poses the same types of questions at Selectmen’s meetings.  “By raising questions regarding the source and use of funds, fellow decision-makers pause to consider the impact of their decisions on the taxpayers and the wisdom of proceeding with a project in its proposed form or on its proposed schedule before taking action,” Moonan said.

To realize his second major goal – to protect Bedford’s historic and small-town character, Moonan evaluates Town plans and objectives from the perspective of retaining Bedford’s small-town and historic charm.  During his last term as Selectman, he chaired the Ad Hoc Historical Museum Study Committee, which was created to investigate potential museum locations and other issues related to a Town historical museum.  He explained the study committee’s recommendation for the next step toward this goal: to fund an architect/consultant to provide schematic designs and related costs for creating such a museum at a few of the most-likely locations, and received unanimous support from the Selectmen, Finance Committee and CapEx, which lead to approval of funding for this project at the November, 2015 Special Town Meeting.

Selectman Moonan also began the process of establishing a Cultural District in Bedford to encourage more tourism and economic activity in Bedford, as well as to allow the Town to qualify for grant money to augment these efforts.  He has been working with the Town’s new Economic Development Coordinator and a group of stakeholders to meet the State’s requirements for establishing such a district.

Because of his belief in government transparency, Selectman Moonan advocated having the Selectmen’s meetings televised – which is now being done.  He encouraged other Town boards and committees to use the new broadcast equipment in the Selectmen’s meeting room at Town Hall, when holding their meetings in that space.  The Planning Board has taken advantage of this capability.

Because the Town generates so much paper that ends up being recycled, Moonan advocated that the monthly Town department progress reports to the selectmen be distributed electronically, rather than as paper copies.  The reports are now sent electronically, saving about 6 reams of paper each year, the staff time to copy and collate the reports, and informing each selectman more rapidly.

Serving as a Bedford Selectman means attending other Town board and committee meetings as a Selectman-liaison, helping to coordinate those committees’ interests with those of the Town as a whole.  Selectman Moonan’s current liaison positions include the Capital Expenditures Committee, Cable Television Advisory Committee, Council on Aging, Historic District Commission, Depot Park Advisory Committee, Town Center, Inc. and Bedford’s Chamber of Commerce.  He faithfully attends these committee meetings to listen and report back to the Selectmen, as well as to participate and work outside the meetings to resolve Town problems.

Moonan is not just the Selectmen’s liaison to the Historic District Commission (HDC); he has served as a full, voting member of the HDC for 26 years, including 17 as Chairman.  Similarly, he is not just the Selectmen’s liaison to Town Center, Inc. (TCI), but has been a member of that non-profit’s Board of Directors for 33 years, serving as its Chairman for 14 years.

Moonan’s service on the TCI Board resulted from an idea he conceived 35 years ago — to save the closed and vandalized old Union School and convert it into a vibrant Town Center for use by community organizations.  In 1981, he successfully convinced Town Meeting to appropriate funds to rehab the old school, whose yellow wooden structure was built in 1881, and then helped establish the non-profit TCI to manage the building.  Moonan also served on the design committee for the most recent renovations and new addition to Town Center that added the entire back wing now used by the Council on Aging, hundreds of Bedford seniors, and other local organizations.

Moonan started his volunteer activities in Bedford 36 years ago, when he was appointed by Governor Ed King as the “state appointee” to the Bedford Housing Authority (BHA).  He has been reappointed to this position by every Democratic and Republican Governor since then, and served as Chairman of the BHA’s Board of Commissioners for 26 of those 36 years.  In that capacity, Moonan has worked to ensure the proper maintenance and management of 125 units of state-subsidized low-income housing in Bedford.

As a condition of Moonan serving as both an elected Selectman and on the Bedford Housing Authority, he does not accept the annual $360 state stipend paid to Authority Commissioners.

Moonan’s appreciation of history serves him well as a member of the Bedford Historical Society and the Bedford Minuteman Company.  He also serves as a Director of the Charles River Museum of Industry and Innovation in Waltham, where at one point in his career, he owned and operated the nation’s oldest bird feeder company.

He is a 1965 graduate of Yale University and a 1969 graduate of the Harvard Business School.  He has served as financial officer for both large and small corporations, but is now retired.

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