Letter to the Editor, March 21, 2017: Getting the Chills ~ Why Town Meeting Matters by Dan Brosgol

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By Dan Brosgol

Were you at Town Meeting last March?

I hope you were, because something amazing happened when the article about the Lane School addition came to Town Meeting floor. After six months of the project being reviewed and vetted by a variety of town boards and committees, School Committee chairman Mike McAllister presented the project to the voters. Following his review, the Selectmen and Finance Committee endorsed it, and then the vote passed.

Unanimously.

The silence of the no votes was broken only by the applause that filled the auditorium, and I know I wasn’t the only one who got the chills. Why? Because the town took a clear and unequivocal vote in support of Bedford’s children and their future.

That moment last spring encapsulated why Bedford is special, and why Town Meeting is special. If you consider the things that impact your day-to-day lives, a lot of them happen as a direct result of Town Meeting. How we educate our kids, how we take care of our roads, how we zone our neighborhoods, how we maintain our water and sewer infrastructure, how we plan for the financial future of Bedford… all of these issues are voted on by you at Town Meeting, and we all feel the impact of those decisions in the short term. You have the right to vote on them; don’t you want to exercise that privilege?

Yes, Town Meeting can be long. Yes, some debates can be drawn-out. Yes, sometimes it’s three nights (or more!) and not two. But despite the sometimes drawn-out discussion and occasional trip down the rabbit hole with OPEB and the Capital article, there are also moments that make you really appreciate living in Bedford. The Lane School vote was one of them, and rest assured there will be others; you really don’t want to miss them.

Come alone, or come with a friend, bring your phone or tablet and settle in for the evening. I hope to see you on March 27th, and probably the 28th– but hopefully not for a third night.

Editor’s Note: Dan Brosgol serves on the Bedford School Committee

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