Letter to the Editor, March 14, 2017: In Praise of Town Meeting by Bob Bass and Lee Vorderer


By Bob Bass and Lee Vorderer

Thanks to Emily Mitchell for her excellent letter about why Bedford Citizens should go to town meeting.  We concur.  For us, it boils down to these five reasons:

If you care about what is voted upon in town meeting, be a part of the decision.  Some people sat out the last national election and the lesson could hardly be any more clear:  decisions are made and if you are not there to take part, then you may be disappointed by the outcome.

  1. You may have great ideas about the issues that Bedford is facing.  We should all have the chance to learn from you. At every Town meeting, someone stands up and gives a fresh perspective on something, and we feel like we’ve been given a gift. And generally, we can now read the overheads, which is a BIG plus.
  2. Town meeting is an excellent place to learn about how your town is governed and who the people are that are working on your behalf.  Attending the town meeting gives you a chance to identify these people and find out how you can be in touch with them and find out what they care about.  If you care about trash pick up, you can be sure there is someone in Town government who cares about it as well.
  3. Town meeting as a form of government cannot survive if you don’t go.  It’s a special form of government where the voice of the voter can be heard directly. Even if there is nothing on the ballot that is controversial and you think you don’t care about the business to come before it, someone really does care about the issue and there is something to learn.
  4.  We all have a civic duty to be there.
  5. It’s actually kind of fun.  Being there is a real experience and you’ll get to know people from Bedford you otherwise would never meet. You might find allies you don’t know about, or hear points of view that you haven’t considered.  There are many jokes about New England Town Meetings—it’s a unique phenomenon not to be missed.

Come on to the Bedford High School on March 27th, at 7:30.  You might be glad you did!

Click this link to read Bedford’s 2017 Annual Town Meeting Warrant

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