Letter to the Editor: March 22, 2017: Town Meeting Remains Compelling After 57 Years by Lois F. Pulliam


By Lois F. Pulliam

As a longtime Bedford citizen (since 1960),  I have been wondering why more local residents don’t attend Annual Town Meeting.  To me, it’s one of the highlights of living in Massachusetts, and–especially–we are fortunate to be one of the towns still to enjoy open instead of representative Town Meeting.  Bedford really DOES have one- person-one-vote!

My husband Brown and I  had to sit on the stage in March,1960 because we were very new residents, [not yet registered to vote], but now you will sit in a roped-off space on the auditorium floor if you’re a brand-new “local”.

You can hear town committee reports and vote on such warrant articles as new town streets, mosquito control, trash pick-up, or high school playing field expansion, all while joining your friends and neighbors in voting on next year’s budget for the Town.

Seriously, [Annual Town Meeting] is a privilege we shouldn’t bypass, lest it disappear!

If you haven’t experienced Town Meeting yet, you should know that Bedford is accustomed to well-run, smoothly moderated, and downright pleasant evenings as we decide the important issues together.

Monday,  March 27 is opening night, complete with the Bedford Minutemen, Minutewomen, fifes, and drums! I hope to see you there.  We have never missed attending in all these years unless we were out of the country…

1 Comment

  1. I appreciate the experiences that various residents have offered about Town Meeting, and I share their view about its importance. We have lived in Bedford for more than 40 years and during that time we have benefitted in many ways from all the careful decisions made at Town Meeting: a solid school budget, excellent public works and safety departments, and careful zoning to name just a few. As a result, among other things, the value of our home has increased and we enjoy a safe, attractive, well-run community which is now educating four of our grandchildren. My vote…your vote…OUR votes and discussion of pros and cons during Town Meeting have ensured this. Town Meeting is not a quaint remnant of our New England past — it is a rich, vibrant and effective expression of local democracy that is worthy of our ongoing participation.

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